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Final rule issued for NS1 revisions to Magnuson-Stevens

 SILVER SPRING, MD – As part of an effort to streamline and clarify management guidelines, NOAA Fisheries National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) finalized changes to the guidelines for National Standards 1, 3, and 7 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). The new guidelines became effective in October.

The MSA, of course, governs the $210 billion commercial and recreational fisheries through the 10 national standards that guide the development and implementation of all fishery management plans, amendments, and regulations.

National Standard 1 (NS1) simultaneously requires that managers prevent overfishing and achieve optimum yield for the fishery.

At a press conference announcing the changes, NMFS Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs Samuel Rauch said that NMFS sought input on how to improve the MSA guidelines from the fishing industry, regional councils, fisheries researchers, and other stakeholders beginning in 2013 at the “Managing Our Nation’s Fisheries 3” workshop.

“We’re very proud we have one of the most sustainably managed systems in the world, and we can do that at the same time as providing the important national benefits,” Rauch said.

Pointing to 40 rebuilt stocks since 2000 under the MSA, Rauch said that 91% of the nation’s stocks are sustainable, meaning that…

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