Accountability Measures that Govern Overfishing in the US.

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 7:19 PM

Some might say that unsustainable fishing practices began to change in 2006 when congress amended the Magnuson Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act to require annual catch limits.
Annual Catch Limits or ACL’s are defined by congress as – The amount of a particular fish species, stock or stock complex that can be caught in a given year (usually measured in weight).
In order to end overfishing in U.S. waters the ACL’s required implementation by fisheries managers by December 31, 2010 on all stocks subject to overfishing, and for all remaining stocks by December 31, 2011.  So how are we doing on these deadlines?  As of December 31, 2011, 40 of the 46 fishery management plans had ACL’s and corresponding accountability measures in place. The remaining six management plans will have ACL’s in place that are affective in the 2012 fishing season.
This implementation process of monitoring the fisheries in the U.S. has become a model for international fisheries to use to create ecological and economic sustainability within the global fishing industry.  In the U.S. there are 38 fish stocks and 25 that are subject to overfishing.  ACL’s and were not required on all 38 due to international exemptions, but I suspect within a few years there will be more stocks subject to ACL’s because of the research and growing efforts to stop overfishing.
This step by congress started the change and now we must build on it globally taking all actions possible for the sustainability of ocean ecosystems. 


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