The 411 on Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Posted by: Larry Innis
MRAA supports this year’s
reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act,
the primary law governing U.S. commercial saltwater fisheries.
The, named after former U.S.
Senators Warren Magnuson (Washington) and Ted Stevens (Alaska), was originally
enacted in 1976 and has been reauthorized several times. It’s due for
reauthorization again in 2014.
Over the years, most Magnuson-Stevens
Act amendments have been in response to overfishing. Fish management in the
United States is controlled through eight regional fish councils that set per
annum catch limits. Generally, the law does not address concerns of
Recognizing the strong connection
between recreational fishing and boating, MRAA is closely monitoring progress
of the Magnuson-Stevens bill through Congress. MRAA supports a more localized
fish management program that’s community based and voluntary, where the economic
needs of a local community are considered in any fish management decision; the
implementation of science-based catch limits to rebuild fish populations; and
the avoidance of weak fish stocks (and subsequent targeting of more robust
MRAA believes certain regulations
that apply to commercial fishing, such as designated fishing zones and mandates
that dictate where or when to fish, should not apply to recreational fishing.