The eight U.S. regional fishery management councils are the primary forums for developing conservation and management measures for U.S. marine fisheries. The regional councils recommend management measures for fisheries in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ); which are subject to approval and implemented by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The councils were established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1976. In 1996, revisions to the laws governing the regional fishery management councils were made by the Sustainable Fisheries Act, which includes provisions to reduce bycatch, consider the effects of management decisions on communities, and protect essential fish habitats.
The councils are composed of federal and state officials, including the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Coast Guard, and the Fish and Wildlife Service.
|U.S. regional fishery management councils|
|Western Pacific||Honolulu... ecosystem-based management of fisheries in the US Pacific Islands.|
|Pacific||Develops regulations for fisheries in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off Washington, Oregon, and California. This area of ocean is also known as the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem.|
|Gulf of Mexico||Prepares fishery management plans for the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Gulf Council) consists of 17 voting members: the Southeast Regional Administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the directors of the five Gulf state marine resource management agencies (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida), and 11 members who are nominated by the state governors, and appointed by the United States Secretary of Commerce. The Gulf Council currently has 10 fishery management plans that set management parameters for: Costal Migratory Pelagics, Red Drum, Reef Fish, Shrimp, Spiny Lobster, Florida Stone Crab, Coral and Coral Reefs, Essential Fish Habitat, Aquaculture, and generic amendments in the EEZ of the Gulf of Mexico.|
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