As a part of the Act, the Secretary reports annually to the Congress and the Councils on the status of United States Fisheries. As a part of this identification he must specify those fisheries that are overfished or are approaching a condition of being overfished.
Carlos M. Gutierrez
The Powers of the Secretary
If the Secretary determines at any time that a fishery is overfished, the Secretary must immediately notify the appropriate Council and request that action be taken to end overfishing
While councils have the ability to establish joint committee ‘s to deal with common areas, the Secretary has the authority to designate which council will handle the fishery. Including the creation of the FMP. He may also require the councils to act jointly. In geographical disputes between councils, the Secretary is in charge of setting the boundary authorities of the councils.