Public comments on implementing Magnuson-Stevens Act sought

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Posted by on February 26, 2007 at 21:40:30:

The Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation & Management Act (MSA) was reauthorized by the 109th Congress. The new MSA states that overfishing in all federal commercial and recreational fisheries be terminated by 2010, which will modify the National Standard 1 of the Act also known as the “overfishing standard.”

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is responsible for implementing the new regulations created by the reauthorization of MSA. Over the past decade NMFS begun to address overfishing in various federal fisheries, but the new regulations mandate greater changes be made to fisheries management to end “overfishing” in 48 federal fisheries throughout the United States. The new MSA states that all fisheries must be regulated by annual catch limits with accountability measures to prevent landings exceeding the regulated catch limits. Additionally, the reauthorized MSA places considerably more emphasis on science based management.

NMFS is currently seeking public comments on these major changes to federal fisheries management. Until 2 April NMFS will receive public suggestions on how to prevent “overfishing” now and in the future. NMFS will then collect all of the comments, draft a proposal of specific regulations to implement the changes, and then another public comment period will follow+. NMFS hopes to complete the project by the end of 2007. Written comments should be e-mailed to: annual.catch.limitDEIS@noaa.gov; or faxed to: 301-713-1193; or mailed to: Mark Millikin, NOAA/NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway; Silver Spring, MD 20910. For additional information about MSA see www.nmfs.noaa.gov/msa2007 or about the MSA “overfishing” implementation read www.fakr.noaa.gov/notice/72fr7016.pdf.

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