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NOAA Announces New Fisheries Allocation Policy

NOAA and our partners at the Fisheries Management Councils have taken an important step to clarify how allocations of fish harvest among recreational, commercial, and subsistence fishermen should be made.

Today, NOAA is issuing an agency Fisheries Allocation and Review Policy (pdf). We are issuing two complementary procedural directives to provide guidance for implementing the policy: Recommended Practices and Factors  to Consider When Reviewing and Making Allocation Decisions (pdf) and Criteria for Initiating Fisheries Allocation Reviews (pdf).

We'll also host a conference call on Tuesday, August 2at 4 pm (EDT) to discuss the policy and answer any questions for the recreational community. 

Join the call:
Phone number: 1-800-369-1932
Passcode: 42334

You've told us in the past that allocations can seem locked in place, unable to keep pace with changing fisheries. We appreciate your perspective and that is why we included a commitment to examine allocations in our National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Policy Implementation Plan.

Over the last couple of years, we worked with the Council Coordination Committee to create a more transparent mechanism to ensure fisheries allocations are periodically evaluated to remain relevant to current conditions.

These new documents provide guidance to Fishery Management Councils on when to revisit allocations and what factors to consider when making allocation decisions. 

The policy and associated guidance are positive steps that bring some clarity to a longstanding and complicated issue.

Questions? Contact Russell Dunn, National Policy Advisors for Recreational Fisheries, at 727-551-5740 or email