Overfishing Ends In The U.S.

Eric Schwaab, the administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has announced the end of overfishing in U.S waters is an enormous milestone and reachable with the help of one of the biggest changes to fisheries law in the 2007 reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act which impose the strict annual catch limits in 2010.  The Act has also distinguished the difference between the act of “overfishing” and the fact that some fish populations remain “overfished.” Overfishing means taking more fish out of the ocean than natural reproduction rates can replace.  NMFS priorities are based on provisions with Congressionally-mandated deadlines which include:

•Fishery management plans meet annual catch limit requirements
•Revise procedures for compliance with NEPA and MSA
•Establish a program to improve the data generated by the Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey
•1st international report and certification procedures
•Establish a Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program
•Publish guidelines on limited access program referenda for New England and Gulf Councils 

With a 2011 deadline to end overfishing in U.S. waters, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration utilizes a management system designed to end the race for fish that has resulted in dozens of ocean species in trouble. The agency has been given a set of recommendations to build support among fishermen and break through the bureaucracy that has held up wider adoption of catch shares. The system gives individual shares of the catch to fishermen, cooperatives or even communities, as well as responsibility not to over fish protected stocks. Each permit holder has a specific quota of fish they can catch, ending the race to gather as many fish as possible.  The Environmental Defense Fund praised the recommendations, saying that catch shares have restored fish populations while improving the livelihoods of fishermen. 

Conathan, Michael. "Fish on Fridays: The End of Overfishing in America." Fish on Fridays: The End of Overfishing in America. Center for American Progress, 25 Mar. 2011. Web. 12 May 2012. <http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/03/fof_032511.html>.

"NOAA Endorses Catch Shares to Reverse Overfishing." The Oregonian. Oregonlive.com, 10 Dec. 2009. Web. 12 May 2012. <http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2009/12/post_10.html>.