The Magnuson–Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), enacted in 1976, is the key U.S. law for managing marine fisheries in federal waters. The law, which includes measures to prevent overfishing and protect fish habitats, was designed to ensure the long-term sustainability of marine fisheries and provide economic benefits.
Significant changes to the MSA have been made over time. The Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996 included new conservation mandates, emphasized preventing overfishing, and introduced requirements to protect Essential Fish Habitats. The 2007 MSA Reauthorization Act further strengthened fisheries management, setting annual catch limits and promoting market-based strategies.
Lastly, the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2018 focused on improving recreational fishing data and managing mixed-use fisheries. As a result, U.S. fisheries are globally recognized as responsibly managed, aiding both the economy and the marine ecosystem.
In conclusion, the evolving Magnuson-Stevens Act has fostered a balance between economy and ecology in U.S. marine fisheries. (Learn More)