Many of Florida's important fisheries occur in both state and federal waters and are managed by both the FWC and federal agencies.
Eight regional fishery management councils were established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to advise the NOAA Fisheries Service on federal fishery management issues.
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council manages fisheries in federal waters (beyond three nautical miles) off the Florida Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council manages fisheries in federal waters (beyond nine nautical miles) off the Gulf coast. These Councils develop fishery management plans and recommend regulations to the U.S. Department of Commerce based scientific data, public comment and stock assessments conducted by the SouthEast Data Assessment and Review (SEDAR) program as required by the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
NOAA Fisheries Service reviews Council recommendations and decides whether or not to approve the regulations as an agency of the Department of Commerce.
The FWC manages fisheries in state waters, but has a strong interest in how fish are managed in federal waters and how that management affects Floridians. FWC staff serves on both the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Councils and coordinates with the Councils to improve fisheries management. The Councils and the FWC often enact consistent regulations in state and federal waters, but sometimes use different approaches to meet management goals. The FWC also partners with the Councils and NOAA Fisheries to collect fishery data, conduct research, assess fish stocks and enforce regulations.
To learn more about federal fisheries management, visit the following links.
Federal Fisheries Information
NOAA Fisheries Service -- The federal agency, a division of the Department of Commerce, responsible for the stewardship of the nation's living marine resources and their habitat. NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office is responsible for fisheries management in federal waters off Florida's Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
Fisheries Management Councils
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council - Manages fisheries with the federal waters of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Gulf federal regulations are available here.
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council - Manages fisheries within the federal waters of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and east Florida to Key West. South Atlantic federal regulations are available on the SAFMC website.
Marine Fisheries Commissions
Marine Fisheries Commissions were established to determine priorities for fishery management in coastal waters and recommend management measures that will benefit fisheries.
Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission - Member states include Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission - Member states include Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
For more information: