→ Classification of foreign fisheries under the Marine Mammal Protection Act

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The National Marine Fisheries Service has published its draft List of Foreign Fisheries (LOFF) for 2017, per the Marine Mammal Protection Act. 'The draft LOFF reflects available information on marine mammal interactions in commercial fisheries exporting fish and fish products to the United States.' Each commercial fishery included in the draft LOFF is classified as as "exempt" or "export," based on the 'frequency and likelihood of incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals that is likely to occur incidental to each fishery.' Nations must apply for and receive a comparability finding for each of their fisheries on the LOFF to continue to export fish and fish products to the US. The classification as "exempt" or "export" will determine which regulatory requirements are applicable to that fishery when the nation applies to receive a comparability finding. Comparability findings determine whether the regulatory program of that fishery is comparable in effectiveness to US regulatory programs.