United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: May 28, 2023
National standards for fishery conservation and management
Any fishery management plan prepared, and any regulation promulgated to implement any such plan, pursuant to this subchapter shall be consistent with the following national standards for fishery conservation and management:
Conservation and management measures shall prevent overfishing while achieving, on a continuing basis, the optimum yield from each fishery for the United States fishing industry.
Conservation and management measures shall be based upon the best scientific information available.
To the extent practicable, an individual stock of fish shall be managed as a unit throughout its range, and interrelated stocks of fish shall be managed as a unit or in close coordination.
Conservation and management measures shall not discriminate between residents of different States. If it becomes necessary to allocate or assign fishing privileges among various United States fishermen, such allocation shall be (A) fair and equitable to all such fishermen; (B) reasonably calculated to promote conservation; and (C) carried out in such manner that no particular individual, corporation, or other entity acquires an excessive share of such privileges.
Conservation and management measures shall, where practicable, consider efficiency in the utilization of fishery resources; except that no such measure shall have economic allocation as its sole purpose.
Conservation and management measures shall take into account and allow for variations among, and contingencies in, fisheries, fishery resources, and catches.
Conservation and management measures shall, where practicable, minimize costs and avoid unnecessary duplication.
Conservation and management measures shall, consistent with the conservation requirements of this chapter (including the prevention of overfishing and rebuilding of overfished stocks), take into account the importance of fishery resources to fishing communities by utilizing economic and social data that meet the requirements of paragraph (2), in order to (A) provide for the sustained participation of such communities, and (B) to the extent practicable, minimize adverse economic impacts on such communities.
Conservation and management measures shall, to the extent practicable, (A) minimize bycatch and (B) to the extent bycatch cannot be avoided, minimize the mortality of such bycatch.
Conservation and management measures shall, to the extent practicable, promote the safety of human life at sea.
The Secretary shall establish advisory guidelines (which shall not have the force and effect of law), based on the national standards, to assist in the development of fishery management plans.
(Pub. L. 94–265, title III, § 301,
Apr. 13, 1976, 90 Stat. 346; Pub. L. 97–453, § 4, Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2484; Pub. L. 98–623, title IV, § 404(3), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3408; Pub. L. 104–297, title I, § 106, Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3570; Pub. L. 109–479, title I, § 101(a), Jan. 12, 2007, 120 Stat. 3579.)
cite as: 16 USC 1851