Apr 14 2011

The Road to End Overfishing: 35 Years of Magnuson Act

Assistant Administrator Schwaab for Fisheries Talks about the Cornerstone of Sustainable Fisheries

Handling Samplesphoto © 2010 Deepwater Horizon Response | more info (via: Wylio)

As we look toward Earth Day next week, I want to acknowledge and highlight the 35 th anniversary of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Simply called “the Magnuson Act”, this law, its regional framework and goal of sustainability, has proven to be a visionary force in natural resource management – both domestically and internationally. The Magnuson Act is, and will continue to be a key driver for NOAA as we deliver on our nation’s commitment to ocean stewardship, sustainable fisheries, and healthy marine ecosystems

Because of the Magnuson Act, the U.S. is on track to end overfishing in federally-managed fisheries, rebuild stocks, and ensure conservation and sustainable use of our ocean resources. Fisheries harvested in the United States are scientifically monitored, regionally managed and legally enforced under 10 strict national standards of sustainability. This anniversary year marks a critical turning point in the Act’s history. By the end of 2011, we are on track to have an annual catch limit and accountability measures in place for all 528 federally-managed fish stocks and complexes. The dynamic, science-based management process envisioned by Congress is now in place, the rebuilding of our fisheries is underway, and we are beginning to see real benefits for fishermen, fishing communities and our commercial and recreational fishing industries.

But, we did not get here overnight. Our nation’s journey toward sustainable fisheries has evolved over the course of 35 years. At this particular moment it is important to take time and reflect back on where we have been to understand where we are and fully appreciate the historic visions and strategic investments that got us here, particularly by the Act’s principal architects, the late U.S. Senators Warren G. Magnuson of Washington State and Ted Stevens of Alaska.

Read the rest on SavingSeaFood.org.


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