Wednesday, 31 March 2010

USA: Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Act Information

On March 5, 2010, NOAA Fisheries published a notice in the Federal
Register soliciting information from the public regarding nations whose
vessels are engaged in illegal, unreported, or unregulated (IUU) fishing
and bycatch of protected living marine resources (PLMRs). A copy of the
notice is attached.


Under the international provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens
Reauthorization Act (MSRA), the United States is required to take action
to combat illegal, unreported, or unregulated (IUU) fishing and reduce
bycatch of protected living marine resources (PLMRs). Among the actions
that must be taken, the Secretary of Commerce is required to produce a
biennial report to Congress that identifies nations whose vessels are
engaged in IUU fishing and/or bycatch of PLMRs.

NOAA Fisheries is requesting information on nations whose vessels are or
have been engaged at any point during the preceding 2 years, in IUU
fishing. For purposes of the MSRA, IUU fishing is defined as:

(1) Fishing activities that violate conservation and management measures
required under an international fishery management agreement to which
the United States is a party, including catch limits or quotas, capacity
restrictions, and bycatch reduction requirements;
(2) Overfishing of fish stocks shared by the United States, for which
there are no applicable international conservation or management
measures or in areas with no applicable international fishery management
organization or agreement, that has adverse impacts on such stocks; and
(3) Fishing activity that has an adverse impact on seamounts,
hydrothermal vents, and cold water corals located beyond national
jurisdiction, for which there are no applicable conservation or
management measures or in areas with no applicable international fishery
management organization or agreement.

Furthermore, NOAA Fisheries is requesting information on nations whose
vessels are or have been engaged in fishing practices that result in
bycatch of PLMRs during the preceding 2 years. The United States is
eager to work with our domestic and international partners to reduce
bycatch of PLMRs within global fisheries. In particular, we envision
that the MSRA process will enable the identification of those nations
that could benefit from assistance to better assess and mitigate
bycatch.

In preparation for the second biennial report, which is due to Congress
in January 2011, NOAA Fisheries is soliciting information that could be
used in the identification of nations. NOAA Fisheries originally
requested information to be be submitted on or before April 5, 2010. To
allow for further information collection, NOAA Fisheries will be seeking
an extension until April 23, 2010.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation. If you have any questions,
please do not hesitate to let me know. Please distribute this
solicitation as widely as possible.

With regards,

Rebecca Lent
Director, Office of International Affairs NOAA Fisheries
mailto:Rebecca.Lent@noaa.gov