Saturday, February 3, 2007

Halibut FMP

From: John Lepore <>
Date: Thu, 01 Feb 2007 13:05:11 -0900

This, as all issues, is a bit more complicated than we would like, but,
I will give you the scoop as I told it to the Workgroup and the Council.
In most situations, an Fishery Management Plan (FMP) is necessary to
manage a fishery. An FMP is the template for the use of management
authority under the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA). The Council needs to
develop an FMP to manage a species. However, in the case of halibut,
there is a separate law that provides management authority, i.e., the
Northern Pacific Halibut Act. This does not necessarily prevent the
development of an FMP for halibut, it just makes it unnecessary because
there is another law in place that allows management. So unlike most
other species, halibut can be managed without an FMP. Another
consideration has to do with the jurisdictional authority. Under the
MSA, management authority extends from 3 to 200 miles. Management
authority from 0 to 3 miles belongs to the respective states unless
preempted (a process that rarely occurs). If an FMP was developed for
halibut, it would only be able to management halibut from 3 to 200
miles, which would still leave 0 to 3 uncovered by the FMP, and the
respective states do not have the authority to manage halibut. So there
is a practical reason why an FMP has not been developed. An FMP would
not comprehensively cover halibut management, it would only cover from 3
to 200 miles and 0 to 3 miles would still be managed outside the FMP.

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