Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Journey to Sustainable Fisheries: 40 Years Under the Magnuson-Stevens Act

Journey to Sustainable Fisheries: 40 Years Under the Magnuson-Stevens Act

NOAA Fisheries Presents Journey to Sustainable Fisheries 40 Years Under the Magnuson-Stevens Act Our ocean fisheries provide many benefits. Food. Employment. Fun and a place to connect with nature. Thanks to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, we will continue to enjoy these benefits today, and into the future. Since 1976, the Magnuson-Stevens Act has been the primary law governing marine fisheries in U.S. federal waters. It created a system of regional fishery management councils that allows government to work with fishermen and partners to sustainably manage our nation’s fisheries. Which includes more than four-hundred seventy marine fish stocks and stock complexes. The Magnuson-Stevens Act works to prevent overfishing and rebuild overfished stocks. Increase long-term economic and social benefits. Provide for abundant recreational opportunities and ensure a safe and sustainable seafood supply. Looking Back… In the four decades following World War II, the annual world fishing catch quadrupled due to technological improvements and fishing vessels that could travel the world’s oceans. By the early 1970s, it became apparent that such development was not limitless. Foreign fleets were scouring our waters and fish stocks were collapsing. Fisheries such as northeast Atlantic herring and Alaskan salmon were in serious trouble. Today… In the forty years since the passage of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, a lot has changed. We have ended chronic overfishing. Rebuilt thirty-nine fish stocks and put our fisheries on solid sustainable footing. Our nation’s commercial and recreational fisheries now contribute more than one-hundred billion dollars annually to the U.S. economy and support 1.8 million jobs. The Act’s focus on science-based decision-making has challenged us to find answers to real-world questions about how to responsibly manage our living marine resources. During the past several decades, we made significant scientific advances including new statistical methods for assessing data-poor stocks and remote sensing technologies to collect data on fish that were, until recently, beyond the reach of our science. Today, U.S. fisheries are globally recognized as responsibly managed under a transparent process based on science, responsive management, enforced standards and full stakeholder participation. We have learned that there is no end point to sustainable fisheries but it is a journey of continuous collaboration, monitoring, and adaptation in an ever-changing ocean environment. On behalf of NOAA Fisheries, thank you to all fishermen and stakeholders who participate in the management of our nation’s fisheries. NOAA Fisheries Copyright Imagery and Music

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