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Regional Fishery Management Councils

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act created eight regional fishery management councils. These councils are responsible for the fisheries that require conservation and management in their region. Voting and non-voting council members represent the commercial and recreational fishing sectors, in addition to environmental, academic, and government interests.

Under the MSA, councils are required to:

  • Develop and amend fishery management plans.
  • Convene committees and advisory panels and conduct public meetings.
  • Develop research priorities in conjunction with a Scientific and Statistical Committee.
  • Select fishery management options.
  • Set annual catch limits based on best available science.
  • Develop and implement rebuilding plans.

NOAA Fisheries supports the councils by conducting the annual nomination and appointment process, training new members, and facilitating periodic meetings of the Council Coordination Committee.

Learn more about the Regional Fishery Management Councils.