The Sustainable Fisheries Division in the Southeast Regional Office is home to three fishery management regions: the Caribbean Branch, the Gulf of Mexico Branch, and the South Atlantic Branch. They are authorized by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to use best available science to manage and conserve marine fishery resources in federal waters from North Carolina through Texas, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
NOAA Fisheries in the southeast works with three fishery management councils; the Gulf of Mexico, the South Atlantic, and the Caribbean Councils. The Councils are made up of state and territory directors, federal fishery managers, scientists, and fishing industry representatives appointed by each state’s Governor. Council members identify how a fishery should be managed, using the best scientific data available, then develop a fishery management plan, and recommend regulatory actions to NOAA Fisheries.
Sustainable Fisheries' main objective is to maintain healthy fish stocks important to commercial, recreational, and subsistence fisheries. The goal is to increase long-term economic and social benefits to the nation from living marine resources.