NOAA-NMFS

THE ROLE OF NOAA AND NMFS

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is the scientific US agency under the Department of Commerce responsible for monitoring and reporting the conditions of the oceans and atmosphere. NOAA has 6 divisions including the National Weather Service (NWS), the National Ocean Service (NOS), and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). NMFS is NOAA's division responsible for the management of the nation's fisheries within the United States' Exclusive Economic Zone, which extends seaward 200 nautical miles from the coastline. NMFS also regulates fisheries pursuant to decisions of "regional fishery management organizations" and follows ICCAT's guidelines. NOAA is required to send annual reports to Congress on the status of fishing stocks. While there has been success with rebuilding stocks for many marine species... ... Every report since 1998 has listed the white and blue marlin as "Overfished."

STATES AND FEDS ON DIFFERENT PAGES

There are a number of state and federal licenses, permits and registrations needed by recreational anglers and boats before they can go billfishing. Anglers catching a billfish must report the catch. If the catch occurred while fishing a HMS tournament, the tournament does the reporting of the angler's catch....Except if the tournament is held in Maryland or North Carolina where: "Recreational landings of billfish, swordfish, bluefin tuna, and some sharks must be reported at state-operated reporting stations and not through this system." How does something like that happen? A "State-operated reporting station?" Really?

PERTINENT NOAA WEBSITE LINKS

FEEL-GOOD PUBLICATIONS

KEY DOCUMENTS ON BILLFISH MANAGEMENT