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Department of State

Department of State Mission: Create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community.

Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science Mission: Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Catherine Novelli oversees the State Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES). OES works to develop and implement oceans, environmental, science, and technology policies.
The Office of Marine Conservation (OMC) within OES is responsible for formulating and implementing U.S. policy on a broad range of international issues concerning living marine resources. In executing this responsibility, OMC negotiates bilateral and multilateral fisheries agreements, participates in international fisheries conservation and management organizations and arrangements at the regional and global levels, and represents the U.S. in other international fora associated with the conservation and management of living marine resources.

The Office of Oceans and Polar Affairs (OPA) within OES is responsible for formulating and implementing U.S. policy on international issues concerning the oceans, the Arctic, and Antarctica.

The Department of State leads the United States’ international engagement on fishing and other ocean issues and works with other US federal agencies and constituents to, inter alia:

  • Control and prevent illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing;
  • Promote a level playing field for U.S. fishermen and access to fishery resources on an equitable basis;
  • Adopt and implement effective and enforceable conservation and management measures based on reliable and objective science;
  • Adopt and implement effective monitoring, control, and surveillance (MCS) measures; and
  • Promote trade regimes that contribute to sustainable fisheries.


The Department of State plays the lead role in developing and implementing the President’s foreign policy.