USA Fisheries Management Assessment

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In January, 2016 NOAA Fisheries announced the publication of a peer-reviewed self-assessment that shows the standards of the United States fishery management system under the Magnuson-Stevens Act more than meet the criteria of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization’s ecolabelling guidelines.

The assessment was authored by Dr. Michelle Walsh, a former NOAA Fisheries Knauss Fellow and current member of the Marine Science Faculty at Florida Keys Community College. Walsh evaluated the sustainability of how U.S. federal fisheries are managed using the FAO’s Guidelines for the Ecolabelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries.

The FAO guidelines are used to evaluate the sustainability of fisheries around the world.

“While the performance of U.S. fisheries clearly illustrates that the U.S. management system is effective, my colleagues and I wanted to evaluate the U.S. approach to fisheries management as a whole against these international guidelines for ecolabelling seafood,” said Walsh.

Walsh found that the U.S. federal fisheries management system meets all of the FAO guidelines for sustainability.

After NOAA Fisheries completed its assessment on the sustainability of U.S. federal fisheries management, the agency contracted the Center for Independent Experts (CIE) to independently validate the assessment’s approach and detect any bias within NOAA Fisheries’ self-assessment.

The CIE reviewers independently conducted the same assessment of U.S. federal fisheries management using the functional evaluation method developed by NOAA Fisheries. Dr. Walsh and her colleagues compared the four assessments conducted by both NOAA Fisheries and the CIE reviewers and found they were generally in agreement.

source: NOAA Fisheries

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