Letter to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Regarding the Application of the Best Scientific Information to Fishery Management Plans

The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires that annual catch limits and accountability measures be in place by the 2010 fishing season for all species experiencing overfishing, and by 2011 for all other species. Under the Council's current schedule for implementing Amendments 17a and 17b, the 2010 deadline will not be met. As you develop mechanisms for setting ACLs and accountability measures for South Atlantic fish species, we remind you of your new legal responsibilities to set ACLs that end overfishing and do not exceed the fishing level recommendations of the Scientific and Stastical Committee.