(1) This subpart establishes guidelines, based on the national standards, to assist in the development and review of FMPs, amendments, and regulations prepared by the Councils and the Secretary.
(2) In developing FMPs, the Councils have the initial authority to ascertain factual circumstances, to establish management objectives, and to propose management measures that will achieve the objectives. The Secretary will determine whether the proposed management objectives and measures are consistent with the national standards, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law. The Secretary has an obligation under section 301(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act to inform the Councils of the Secretary's interpretation of the national standards so that they will have an understanding of the basis on which FMPs will be reviewed.
(3) The national standards are statutory principles that must be followed in any FMP. The guidelines summarize Secretarial interpretations that have been, and will be, applied under these principles. The guidelines are intended as aids to decisionmaking; FMPs formulated according to the guidelines will have a better chance for expeditious Secretarial review, approval, and implementation. FMPs that are in substantial compliance with the guidelines, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law must be approved.
(b)Fishery management objectives.
(1) Each FMP, whether prepared by a Council or by the Secretary, should identify what the FMP is designed to accomplish (i.e., the management objectives to be attained in regulating the fishery under consideration). In establishing objectives, Councils balance biological constraints with human needs, reconcile present and future costs and benefits, and integrate the diversity of public and private interests. If objectives are in conflict, priorities should be established among them.
(2) How objectives are defined is important to the management process. Objectives should address the problems of a particular fishery. The objectives should be clearly stated, practicably attainable, framed in terms of definable events and measurable benefits, and based upon a comprehensive rather than a fragmentary approach to the problems addressed. An FMP should make a clear distinction between objectives and the management measures chosen to achieve them. The objectives of each FMP provide the context within which the Secretary will judge the consistency of an FMP's conservation and management measures with the national standards.
(c)Word usage. The word usage refers to all regulations in this subpart.
(1)Must is used, instead of “shall”, to denote an obligation to act; it is used primarily when referring to requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the logical extension thereof, or of other applicable law.
(2)Shall is used only when quoting statutory language directly, to avoid confusion with the future tense.
(3)Should is used to indicate that an action or consideration is strongly recommended to fulfill the Secretary's interpretation of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and is a factor reviewers will look for in evaluating a SOPP or FMP.
(4)May is used in a permissive sense.
(5)May not is proscriptive; it has the same force as “must not.”
(6)Will is used descriptively, as distinguished from denoting an obligation to act or the future tense.
(7)Could is used when giving examples, in a hypothetical, permissive sense.
(8)Can is used to mean “is able to,” as distinguished from “may.”
(9)Examples are given by way of illustration and further explanation. They are not inclusive lists; they do not limit options.
(10)Analysis, as a paragraph heading, signals more detailed guidance as to the type of discussion and examination an FMP should contain to demonstrate compliance with the standard in question.
(11)Council includes the Secretary, as applicable, when preparing FMPs or amendments under section 304(c) and (g) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
(12)Stock or stock complex is used as a synonym for “fishery” in the sense of the Magnuson-Stevens Act's first definition of the term; that is, as “one or more stocks of fish that can be treated as a unit for purposes of conservation and management and that are identified on the basis of geographic, scientific, technical, recreational, or economic characteristics,” as distinguished from the Magnuson-Stevens Act's second definition of fishery as “any fishing for such stocks.”