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The 411 on Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization

Wednesday, March 12, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Larry Innis
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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The, named after former U.S. Senators Warren Magnuson (Washington) and Ted Stevens (Alaska), was originally enacted in 1976 and has been reauthorized several times.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 recreational anglers.

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 stocks).

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.