Highly migratory pelagic species in the Atlantic Ocean are fished throughout the Atlantic by many countries and therefore can only be managed by an international organization. This organization, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), contains a scientific arm, the Standing Committee for Research and Statistics (SCRS). The SCRS is a scientific research and advisory entity, commissioned to conduct critical research, perform regular stock assessments and maintain essential statistics for all the fish species under the control of ICCAT. The SCRS periodically reports to and makes recommendations to ICCAT regarding the management of each species. ICCAT then develops Recommendations, sets fishing quota and establishes processes and procedures for the proper management of its fisheries. It is the responsibility of each member country to comply with the recommendations of ICCAT. In the case of the U.S., the responsibility of promulgating fishery regulations in accordance with ICCAT directives resides with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the Department of Commerce, headquartered in Silver Spring MD.
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