US set catch limits for all managed species

| January 10, 2012

In an effort to sustain commercial and recreational fishing for the next several decades, the US is to impose catch limits to protect the 528 species in federally managed fisheries, from Alaskan pollock to Caribbean queen conch.

Unlike most recent environmental policy debates, which have divided neatly along party lines, this one is about a policy that was forged under President George W. Bush and finalized with President Obama’s backing.

“It’s something that’s arguably first in the world,” said Eric Schwaab, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s assistant administrator for fisheries. “It’s a huge accomplishment for the country.”

Five years ago, Bush signed a reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which dates to the mid-1970s and governs all fishing in U.S. waters. A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers joined environmental groups, some fishing interests and scientists to insert language in the law requiring each fishery to have annual catch limits in place by the end of 2011 to end overfishing.

Although NOAA didn’t meet the law’s Dec. 31 deadline — it has finalized 40 of the 46 fishery management plans that cover all federally managed stocks — officials said they are confident that they will have annual catch limits in place by the time the 2012 fishing year begins for all species.

Until recently the nation’s regional management councils, which write the rules for the 528 fish stocks under the federal government’s jurisdiction, regularly flouted scientific advice and authorized more fishing than could could be sustained, according to scientists – similar to the EU !

More here.

Category: Government, ROW Government News

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