National Standard 2 – Related Resources

Table of Contents

National Standard 2 states that “conservation and management measures shall be based upon the best scientific information available.” The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2007 added provisions to improve the use of science in decision-making. More specifically, Congress called for the Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSC) associated with each regional fishery management council (council) to have a stronger role in reviewing scientific information and providing input on fishing level recommendations. Also, the revisions specified that the Secretary of Commerce and councils must establish a peer review process for scientific information used to advise councils on the conservation and management of fisheries. 

To address these changes, NOAA Fisheries revised the National Standard 2 guidelines to include:

  • Guidance on what constitutes best scientific information available for fishery conservation and management measures.

  • Standards for scientific peer review.

  • Clarification on the role of the SSC in reviewing scientific information for the councils.

  • Expansion and clarification on the contents and purpose of Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) reports and related documents.

NOAA Fisheries published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) in the Federal Register on September 18, 2008 (73 FR 54132) announcing the agency’s intent to revise the National Standard 2 guidelines. The proposed rule published in the Federal Register on December 11, 2009 (74 FR 65724). Public comments on both the ANPR and the proposed rule were generally supportive of the need to revise the National Standard 2 guidelines and provided informative recommendations and editorial clarifications. Comments on both the ANPR and the proposed rule can be viewed by visiting and searching for RIN 0648-AW62.

NOAA Fisheries addressed the public comments received on the proposed rule and published a final rule on July 19, 2013 (78 FR 43066).

More information on National Standard 2 is available through the NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology.

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