NMFS Law and Legal Definition
NMFS is the abbreviation for the National Marine Fisheries Service. The NMFS is a component of the U.S. Department of Commerce. It is a division of the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.
The NMFS is responsible for the management, conservation and protection of living marine resources within the United States' Exclusive Economic Zone (water three to 200 mile offshore). The agency also attempts to balance competing public needs for the natural resources under its management.
With the help of the six regional science centers, eight regional fisheries management councils, the coastal states and territories, and three interstate fisheries management commissions, NMFS conserves and manages marine fisheries to promote sustainability and to prevent lost economic potential associated with overfishing, declining species, and degraded habitats..
The NMFS works closely with state enforcement agencies, the U.S. Coast Guard, and foreign enforcement authorities, and plays an active role in federal law enforcement.