In June 2010 the Council took final action to adopt Amendment 2. Amendment 2 makes the HMS FMP consistent with advisory guidelines for National Standard 1 in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), as amended (50 CFR 600.310). National Standard 1 (NS1) mandates that “Conservation and management measures shall prevent overfishing while achieving, on a continuing basis, the optimum yield (OY) from each fishery for the U.S. fishing industry.” The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006 (MSRA) amended the MSA to include new requirements for annual catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures (AMs) and other provisions preventing and ending overfishing and rebuilding fisheries. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) revised NS1 Guidelines in response to these changes in the MSA. The NS1 Guidelines were published in the Federal Register on January 16, 2009 (74 FR 3178).
Amendment 2 was transmitted to NMFS for Secretarial review on January 27, 2011 and approved by NMFS on June 29, 2011.
A stock or stock complex may not require an ACL and AMs if it qualifies for an MSRA-defined exception. The most important of these with respect to highly migratory species is the so-called “international exception” for stocks managed under an international agreement to which the United States is a party. The NS1 Guidelines also have other provisions related to classifying stocks in the FMP. As part of this action, the Council considered possible reclassification of all the species and stocks identified in the HMS FMP.
Amendment 2 made the following changes to the HMS FMP:
- Two management unit species, bigeye thresher shark and pelagic thresher shark, are reclassified as ecosystem component (EC) species.
- Of the current 34 species identified in the FMP for monitoring purposes, six are retained as ecosystem component (EC) species.
- The international exception to setting allowable biological catches (ABCs) and ACLs are applied to the remaining 11 managed species.
- The FMP describes a process for determining the primary FMP for the purpose of identifying management reference points. Because all the managed species in the HMS FMP are also part of the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Pelagics Fishery Ecosystem Plan, coordination between the two councils in setting reference points is needed.
- The process described in the HMS FMP for establishing and adjusting management measures on a biennial basis also will be used to recommend changes in MSY, OY, and SDC for stocks managed under the FMP. Council-recommended changes will be reviewed by NMFS.
- The current description in the FMP of methods for determining MSY, OY, and SDC is modified slightly to more clearly specify that stock-specific considerations could be used when proposing changes to these estimates.
Amendment 2 to the Fishery Management Plan for U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species (Environmental Assessment), December 2010