Fishing & Seafood

U.S. fisheries are among the world’s largest and most sustainable. Using the Magnuson-Stevens Act as our guide, we work in partnership with regional fishery management councils to assess and predict the status of fish stocks, set catch limits, ensure compliance with fisheries regulations, and reduce bycatch.

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Fishing Permits

Going fishing? Find permits and other forms for federally managed fisheries.

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Rules & Regulations

Find current regulatory actions for our nation’s fisheries, including notices and proposed rules that are open for public comment, final rules, and season changes.



Part of ensuring healthy, sustainable populations of marine life means fishermen need to be careful when they are out at sea to prevent accidental catch of the wrong fish species and life-threatening interactions of protected species with fishing gear.


Stock Assessments

This is how we monitor the health of fish populations. Stock assessments are the scientific foundation for helping us manage sustainable fish populations. Learn more or take a dive deep into the data.


Fishery Observers

Observers are NOAA-trained biologists that stay busy onboard commercial fishing vessels, tallying the number of fish kept or discarded, and collecting data on fishing effort. Become an observer, get observer resources, or find out how to get an observer for your vessel.



We study coastal communities that depend on living marine resources for their livelihoods. We gather and evaluate economic and social science data to help us determine what types of management actions are needed to increase benefits for our coastal communities.

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