NOAA Fisheries Provides Additional Clarifications on Guidelines Designed to End

NOAA Fisheries Provides Additional Clarifications on Guidelines Designed to End Overfishing

Earlier this year, in its revised National Standard 1 Guidelines, NOAA Fisheries published final guidance that is designed to help end overfishing and rebuild federally managed marine fish stocks. The guidance outlines a system of annual catch limits and accountability measures to prevent annual catch limits from being exceeded, and to address such a situation quickly if it does occur. It also includes provisions on accounting for scientific and management uncertainty.

Annual catch limits are required in fishing year 2010 for U.S. commercial and recreational fisheries subject to overfishing, and in fishing year 2011 for all other fisheries. These requirements were set forth in the 2006 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act, which was signed into law in January 2007. NOAA Fisheries, the eight regional fishery management councils, and participants in the fisheries have already taken significant steps toward ending overfishing and rebuilding stocks in recent years.

The National Standard 1 Guidelines provide the foundation for ending overfishing, yet they are designed to be flexible in order to accommodate a broad range of differences among fisheries around the country. In order to provide additional clarification, NOAA Fisheries has developed a set of questions and answers that discuss some common questions that have arisen on the guidelines. Some of the questions that are addressed in the Q&A document include the following: How should the Councils consider and address the risk of overfishing? What can be done in cases where we lack catch data for a given stock? How can we manage fisheries with mixed stocks, when some of the species are overfished and some aren’t? Are there any exceptions to the legal requirement for an annual catch limit?

For more information, visit: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/msa2007/catchlimits.htm

NOAA Fisheries Provides Additional Clarifications on Guidelines Designed to End Overfishing

Earlier this year, in its revised National Standard 1 Guidelines, NOAA Fisheries published final guidance that is designed to help end overfishing and rebuild federally managed marine fish stocks. The guidance outlines a system of annual catch limits and accountability measures to prevent annual catch limits from being exceeded, and to address such a situation quickly if it does occur. It also includes provisions on accounting for scientific and management uncertainty.

Annual catch limits are required in fishing year 2010 for U.S. commercial and recreational fisheries subject to overfishing, and in fishing year 2011 for all other fisheries. These requirements were set forth in the 2006 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act, which was signed into law in January 2007. NOAA Fisheries, the eight regional fishery management councils, and participants in the fisheries have already taken significant steps toward ending overfishing and rebuilding stocks in recent years.

The National Standard 1 Guidelines provide the foundation for ending overfishing, yet they are designed to be flexible in order to accommodate a broad range of differences among fisheries around the country. In order to provide additional clarification, NOAA Fisheries has developed a set of questions and answers that discuss some common questions that have arisen on the guidelines. Some of the questions that are addressed in the Q&A document include the following: How should the Councils consider and address the risk of overfishing? What can be done in cases where we lack catch data for a given stock? How can we manage fisheries with mixed stocks, when some of the species are overfished and some aren’t? Are there any exceptions to the legal requirement for an annual catch limit?

For more information, visit: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/msa2007/catchlimits.htm

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What is the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC)?

The global conveyor belt, shown here, circulates cool subsurface water and warm surface water throughout the world. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation is part of this complex system of global ocean currents.)

The ocean’s water is constantly circulated by currents. Tidal currents occur close to shore and are influenced by the sun and moon. Surface currents are influenced by the wind. However, other, much slower currents that occur from the surface to the seafloor are driven by changes in the saltiness and ocean temperature, a process called thermohaline circulation. These currents are carried in a large “global conveyor belt,” which includes the AMOC.

AMOC stands for Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. The AMOC circulates water from north to south and back in a long cycle within the Atlantic Ocean. This circulation brings warmth to various parts of the globe and also carries nutrients necessary to sustain ocean life.

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What is latitude?

Latitude lines start at the equator (0 degrees latitude) and run east and west, parallel to the equator. Lines of latitude are measured in degrees north or south of the equator to 90 degrees at the North or South poles.

Lines of latitude, also called parallels, are imaginary lines that divide the Earth. They run east to west, but measure your distance north or south. The equator is the most well known parallel. At 0 degrees latitude, it equally divides the Earth into the Northern and Southern hemispheres. From the equator, latitude increases as you travel north or south, reaching 90 degrees at each pole.

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What is longitude?

Lines of longitude, also called meridians, are imaginary lines that divide the Earth. They run north to south from pole to pole, but they measure the distance east or west. Longitude is measured in degrees, minutes, and seconds. Although latitude lines are alway equally spaced, longitude lines are furthest from each other at the equator and meet at the poles. A transcript is available that describes this infographic content in plain text. (Image credit: iStock)

Lines of longitude, also called meridians, are imaginary lines that divide the Earth. They run north to south from pole to pole, but they measure the distance east or west.

The prime meridian, which runs through Greenwich, England, has a longitude of 0 degrees. It divides the Earth into the eastern and western hemispheres. The antimeridian is on the opposite side of the Earth, at 180 degrees longitude. Though the antimeridian is the basis for the international date line, actual date and time zone boundaries are dependent on local laws. The international date line zigzags around borders near the antimeridian.

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What is a barrier island?

Satellite image of Cape Hatteras National Seashore on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Credit: NASA’s Earth Observatory.

Barrier islands form as waves repeatedly deposit sediment parallel to the shoreline. As wind and waves shift according to weather patterns and local geographic features, these islands constantly move, erode, and grow. They can even disappear entirely.

They are generally separated from the mainland by tidal creeks, bays, and lagoons. Beaches and sand dune systems form on the side of the island facing the ocean; the side facing the shore often contains marshes, tidal flats, and maritime forests. These areas are important habitat for seabirds, fish and shellfish, and and nesting sea turtles.

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