NOAA Fisheries filed a final rule to implement a provision of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. This provision requires that all fishery management plans establish a standardized reporting methodology to assess the amount and type of bycatch occurring in a fishery. The final rule establishes requirements and provides guidance to regional fishery management councils (councils) and the Secretary of Commerce regarding the development, documentation, and review of such methodologies, commonly referred to as standardized bycatch reporting methodologies (SBRMs).
The rule requires that councils and the Secretary of Commerce assess the following in establishing or reviewing an SBRM:
- The characteristics of the bycatch occurring in the fishery.
- The feasibility of the methodology.
- The uncertainty of the data resulting from the methodology.
- How the data resulting from the methodology will be used to assess the amount and type of bycatch occurring in the fishery.