The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act created eight regional fishery management councils. These councils are responsible for the fisheries that require conservation and management in their region. Voting and non-voting council members represent the commercial and recreational fishing sectors in addition to environmental, academic, and government interests.
Under the MSA, councils are required to:
- Develop and amend fishery management plans.
- Convene committees and advisory panels and conduct public meetings.
- Develop research priorities in conjunction with a Scientific and Statistical Committee.
- Select fishery management options.
- Set annual catch limits based on best available science.
- Develop and implement rebuilding plans.
We support the councils by conducting the annual nomination and appointment process, training new members, and facilitating periodic meetings of the Council Coordination Committee.
We also work with the councils to designate essential fish habitat for federally managed species. Together we research and describe habitats essential for each life stage of many species, create maps, and designate Habitat Areas of Particular Concern.
Go to regional fishery management council websites:
Nominations & Appointments
Each year, we facilitate the annual process to appointment members to the councils. The ideal council appointee candidate is knowledgeable in fishery conservation and management or the commercial or recreational harvest of fishery resources through occupational experience, scientific expertise, or related training.
Council Coordination Committee
The Council Coordination Committee consists of the chairs, vice chairs, and executive directors from each council. The committee meets twice a year to discuss issues relevant to all councils.
We offer an annual training for newly appointed council members. Training topics include provisions of the MSA and other applicable laws, stock assessment science and procedures, and council operations.
Each council holds meetings throughout the year to discuss issues important to the conservation and management of the region’s fisheries.