Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, and NMFS
Fishery Conservation Lawyer
Compliance with Federal Fishery Conservation Legislation
In an effort to preserve and protect natural resources in governed waters, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in conjunction with eight regional councils governs fishing management policy. If you are involved in the commercial fishing industry, you must take measures to ensure compliance with NMFS regulations to continue your fishing operations.
The Law Office of Patrick Flanigan works with owners and managers, nationwide, of commercial fishing operations to prepare and review fish management plans, to comply with federal legislation and to protect rights and interests in legal actions. Contact the firm online to schedule a free initial consultation or call at 610-628-0539.
Regulating Fishery Conservation and Operations
One of the primary duties of the NMFS, under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, is to develop regional fishing regulations known as a fishery management plan (FMP). Designed to govern specific fisheries, each FMP is developed by the regional management councils identified as:
- New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC)
- Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC)
- South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC)
- Caribbean Fishery Management Council (CFMC)
- Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GFMC)
- Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC)
- North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC)
- Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (WPFMC)
Each regional fishery management council restricts fishing operations. From fishing permits to catch quotas to black box and gear requirements, regulations are in place to limit your opportunities.
Protecting Livelihoods in Cases of Violation
If a fishery operation fails to comply with the statutory and regulatory structure governed by NMFS, your continued operation is at risk. Consequences for violations may include seizure of harvest, civil fines and the loss of operating or fishing permits. If you have been served with a violation notice, such as a Notice of Violation and Assessment (NOVA) or a Notice of Permit Sanction (NOPS), you must take action quickly to protect your rights.
To protect your occupation, permit and earnings, it is essential to work with an attorney experienced in commercial fishing. Patrick Flanigan we will defend your rights when faced with NOVA, NOPS and other fishing violations.
Attorney Patrick Flanigan spent nearly 20 years working in the commercial fishing industry. He knows, firsthand, the impact fishery conservation measures can take on a person’s livelihood. He also recognizes how serious the consequences can be for noncompliance.
Contact an Experienced Maritime Lawyer
The Law Office of Patrick Flanigan represents clients nationwide in commercial fishing and all other types of maritime matters. Contact the firm online or call at 610-628-0539 to schedule your free and confidential initial consultation.
For your convenience, attorney Patrick Flanigan offers evening and weekend consultations. Contingent, hourly and other negotiated fee structures are available and may be customized to your needs.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Violations and Enforcement
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) are federal agencies that manage the fisheries. If you have received notice of a violation from a NOAA or other agent, you could face heavy fines and jail, if charged criminally. It is important to act quickly with these types of issues.
Patrick Flanigan provides administrative, civil, and criminal representation to clients who are accused of violating fishing and maritime law under federal and state laws. Attorney Patrick Flanigan is a former commercial scallop fisherman, deck hand, cook, engineer, first mate, boat captain and vessel owner, who fished the deep waters from Maine to Virginia, Oregon and Alaska. He has the knowledge, insight and experience to help you with your commercial fishing and maritime issues.
NOAA and NMFS Enforcement and Federal Fishing Law
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) enforces more than 30 federal statutes, as an example:
- Magnuson-Stevens Act
- Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act
- Lacey Act
- National Marine Sanctuaries Act
- Northern Pacific Halibut Act
- Antarctic Marine Living Resources Convention Act
On a national scale, NOAA manages and regulates fisheries, fish stocks and fish complexes. They also protect endangered or threatened marine species. They do this by monitoring and enforcing:
- Fishing limits and overfishing
- Observer programs and catch share programs
- Fishing gear used by commercial fisherman and recreational fisherman
- Mislabeling of seafood
- Bycatch reduction
- Closed areas and habitats
- Interactions between marine mammals
- Fish tracking and verification
If you are facing an enforcement action by NOAA, attorney Patrick Flanigan can help you protect your permit, occupation and your earnings. The Law Office of Patrick Flanigan represents clients nationwide in commercial fishing and all other types of maritime matters. Contact a lawyer online or call the firm at 610-628-0539 to schedule your free and confidential initial consultation.
For your convenience, Patrick Flanigan offers evening and weekend consultations. Contingent, hourly and other negotiated fee structures are available and may be customized to your needs.