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Ecosystem-based Fishery Management

Ecosystem-based fishery management complements and builds off-of traditional single species fishery management. This approach considers social, economic, and ecological trade-offs across multiple fisheries and habitats. Our ability to make sound decisions depends on access to reliable, accurate, and actionable ecological, social, and economic information, tools, approaches, and models.

EBFM helps NOAA Fisheries meet sustainable fishery management goals under multiple mandates such as: 

The Ecosystem Based Fishery Management Policy and Road Map describe how NOAA Fisheries implements ecosystem based fisheries management based on six guiding principles:

  1. Implement ecosystem-level planning.
  2. Advance our understanding of ecosystem processes.
  3. Prioritize vulnerabilities and risks of ecosystems and their components.
  4. Explore and address trade-offs within an ecosystem.
  5. Incorporate ecosystem considerations into management advice.
  6. Maintain resilient ecosystems.

NOAA Fisheries regions and headquarter programs are developing EBFM implementation plans to implement the EBFM Roadmap and Policy. These plans complement work already underway by fishery management councils through fishery management plans and fishery ecosystem plans.