NOAA 2003-022
Contact: Susan Buchanan
NOAA News Releases 2003
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NOAA Fisheries issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register on Friday, February 14, 2003, to solicit input from the scientific community, fisheries managers, the fishing industry, environmental groups, and the general public on the effectiveness and appropriateness of the current guidelines for complying with national standard 1. The comment period has been extended to April 16, 2003.

The National Standard 1 guidelines specify what criteria the councils and NOAA should use to determine whether or not a fish stock is subject to overfishing and to establish rebuilding programs for federally managed fish stocks.

Current guidelines have been in place for five years, since 1998. Since that time new issues and perspectives regarding their application have arisen.

The notice contains several issues as a starting point for stimulating comment and identifying what may need revision within the guidelines, including:

  • Discuss potential use of minimum stock size threshold for determining when a stock is overfished;
  • Address how rebuilding targets should accommodate changing environmental conditions;
  • Clarify calculation of maximum permissible rebuilding times for overfished fisheries, taking into account the species’ biology and rebuilding potential;
  • Clarify whether overfishing should be assessed based on the fishery as a whole or based on individual stocks of fish within that fishery.;
  • Specify how to proceed when rebuilding rates are greater or lower than expected or when new assessments change estimates of rebuilding targets.

Comments may be mailed to John H. Dunnigan, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, Room 13362, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910; or faxed to 301-713-1193.

NOAA Fisheries is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation’s living marine resources through scientific research, management, enforcement and the conservation of marine mammals and other protected marine species and their habitat.

The Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.


NOAA Fisheries:

The Federal Register Notice: