(a)Standard 3. To the extent practicable, an individual stock of fish shall be managed as a unit throughout its range, and interrelated stocks of fish shall be managed as a unit or in close coordination.
(b)General. The purpose of this standard is to induce a comprehensive approach to fishery management. The geographic scope of the fishery, for planning purposes, should cover the entire range of the stocks(s) of fish, and not be overly constrained by political boundaries. Wherever practicable, an FMP should seek to manage interrelated stocks of fish.
(c)Unity of management. Cooperation and understanding among entities concerned with the fishery (e.g., Councils, states, Federal Government, international commissions, foreign nations) are vital to effective management. Where management of a fishery involves multiple jurisdictions, coordination among the several entities should be sought in the development of an FMP. Where a range overlaps Council areas, one FMP to cover the entire range is preferred. The Secretary designates which Council(s) will prepare the FMP, under section 304(f) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
(d)Management unit. The term “management unit” means a fishery or that portion of a fishery identified in an FMP as relevant to the FMP's management objectives.
(1)Basis. The choice of a management unit depends on the focus of the FMP's objectives, and may be organized around biological, geographic, economic, technical, social, or ecological perspectives. For example:
(i)Biological—could be based on a stock(s) throughout its range.
(ii)Geographic—could be an area.
(iii)Economic—could be based on a fishery supplying specific product forms.
(iv)Technical—could be based on a fishery utilizing a specific gear type or similar fishing practices.
(v)Social—could be based on fishermen as the unifying element, such as when the fishermen pursue different species in a regular pattern throughout the year.
(vi)Ecological—could be based on species that are associated in the ecosystem or are dependent on a particular habitat.
(2)Conservation and management measures. FMPs should include conservation and management measures for that part of the management unit within U.S. waters, although the Secretary can ordinarily implement them only within the EEZ. The measures need not be identical for each geographic area within the management unit, if the FMP justifies the differences. A management unit may contain, in addition to regulated species, stocks of fish for which there is not enough information available to specify MSY and OY or to establish management measures, so that data on these species may be collected under the FMP.
(e)Analysis. To document that an FMP is as comprehensive as practicable, it should include discussions of the following:
(1) The range and distribution of the stocks, as well as the patterns of fishing effort and harvest.
(2) Alternative management units and reasons for selecting a particular one. A less-than-comprehensive management unit may be justified if, for example, complementary management exits or is planned for a separate geographic area or for a distinct use of the stocks, or if the unmanaged portion of the resource is immaterial to proper management.
(3) Management activities and habitat programs of adjacent states and their effects on the FMP's objectives and management measures. Where state action is necessary to implement measures within state waters to achieve FMP objectives, the FMP should identify what state action is necessary, discuss the consequences of state inaction or contrary action, and make appropriate recommendations. The FMP should also discuss the impact that Federal regulations will have on state management activities.
(4) Management activities of other countries having an impact on the fishery, and how the FMP's management measures are designed to take into account these impacts. International boundaries may be dealt with in several ways. For example:
(i) By limiting the management unit's scope to that portion of the stock found in U.S. waters;
(ii) By estimating MSY for the entire stock and then basing the determination of OY for the U.S. fishery on the portion of the stock within U.S. waters; or
(iii) By referring to treaties or cooperative agreements.