A Council or NMFS may establish an FNP to assist in the development of specific fishery conservation and management measures. In determining whether to establish an FNP, NMFS or the Council, as appropriate, shall consider whether:
(a) There is a need for specific fishery conservation and management measures.
(b) There are a limited number of identifiable interests that will be significantly affected by the conservation and management measure.
(c) There is a reasonable likelihood that an FNP can be convened with a balanced representation of persons who:
(1) Can adequately represent the interests identified under paragraph (b) of this section.
(2) Are willing to negotiate in good faith to reach a consensus on a report regarding the issues presented.
(d) There is a reasonable likelihood that an FNP will reach a consensus on a report regarding the issues presented within 1 year from date of establishment of the FNP.
(e) The use of an FNP will not unreasonably delay Council or NMFS fishery management plan development or rulemaking procedures.
(f) The costs of establishment and operation of an FNP are reasonable when compared to fishery management plan development or rulemaking procedures that do not use FNP procedures.
(g) The Council or NMFS has adequate resources and is willing to commit such resources, including technical assistance, to an FNP.
(h) The use of an FNP is in the public interest.