Skip to main content
  • Click to open or close the program search boxShow Me Programs
    • Show me the programs that are
      performing Go
    • Show me the programs that are
Program Assessment


View Assessment Details

National Marine Fisheries Service

This program is responsible for the management and conservation of marine fish off the coast of the United States. This is primarily accomplished through regulating commercial and recreational fishing, conserving habitat and conducting the science necessary to provide a sound basis for regulatory decisions.


What This Rating Means

Moderately Effective

In general, a program rated Moderately Effective has set ambitious goals and is well-managed. Moderately Effective programs likely need to improve their efficiency or address other problems in the programs' design or management in order to achieve better results.
  • The Program is well designed, but needs to increase efforts to ensure partners commit to achieving Program goals. Establishment of accountability measures and annual catch limits, as required by the reauthorized Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, will provide a mechanism to ensure agency and partner commitment to ending overfishing and promoting sustainable fisheries.
  • Independent evaluations have found that the Program is moderately effective and compares favorably with similar programs in other nations. In response to evaluation recommendations the Program is increasing the number of market-based, Limited Access Privilege Programs to improve at-sea safety, reduce overcapitalization, create incentives for conservation, and enhance economic performance.
  • The Program's relatively new performance measures show some progress toward the intended outcome of sustainable fisheries management. The reauthorized Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act sets an ambitious schedule to end overfishing and establish annual catch limits for all stocks by 2011. Achievement of these goals will be reflected in the Program's performance measures.

Improvement Plan

About Improvement Plans

We are taking the following actions to improve the performance of the program:

  • Addressing overfishing through the establishment and implementation of sustainable annual catch limits for all managed fish stocks.
  • Increasing the number of fisheries managed through market-based approaches, which can lead to longer and safer fishing seasons and provide incentives for conservation.

Learn More

The content on is developed by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and Federal agencies.