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NOAA is dedicated to protecting and preserving the nation's living marine resources through scientific research, fisheries management, enforcement and habitat conservation. NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) is the lead federal agency responsible for the stewardship of the nation's offshore living marine resources and their habitat. NOAA Fisheries manages, conserves and protects fish, whales, dolphins, sea turtles and other living creatures in the ocean.
NOAA Fisheries works within the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act to fulfill its mission of promoting healthy ecosystems. Federally-managed living marine resources provide an important source of food and recreation for the nation, as well as thousands of jobs and a traditional way of life for many coastal communities. As a world class science agency that serves the entire country, the mission of NOAA Fisheries is to ensure healthy fisheries and habitat for the benefit of all Americans.
NOAA Fisheries works closely with other NOAA offices to protect and conserve marine resources. Specifically, NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research explores and investigates ocean habitats and resources. NOAA’s National Ocean Service provides maps and other data to help fishers and managers and also maintains a network of Marine Sanctuaries and Estuarine Research Reserves to help protect important resources. NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations provides a fleet of ships and boats to support the agency’s fisheries operations.