Recreational Fisheries Issues Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act

Monday, August 18, 2014: 1:30 PM
204A (Centre des congrès de Québec // Québec City Convention Centre)
Paul Perra , Sustainable Fisheries, NOAA Fisheries Service, Gloucester, MA
With the passage of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Act) in 1976, the United States Federal Government took on the responsibility to develop a comprehensive marine fisheries management system for United States waters in the Exclusive Economic Zone (mostly 3 to 200 miles from shore).  Under the Act, a system of marine Regional Fishery Management Councils (Councils) was created and charged with the responsibility to develop fishery management plans (FMPs) for important marine fisheries.  The Councils, under the guidance of the U.S. Department of Commerce, have over the last 38 years, developed FMPs for numerous marine species.  Concurrently, the coastal states independent of, in cooperation with the Councils, or through marine interstate commissions have developed coastal regulations for managing many of the same species under Council FMPs for the near shore marine and estuarine waters.  There has been mixed success by the states and Councils in solving recreational fishing management problems.  In particular, Federal and state actions to monitor and manage marine and estuarine recreational fisheries has been most challenging because of the diverse nature of recreational fisheries and difficulties with accurate real-time catch estimates.  This paper will discuss implementation of the Act, the challenges the Council system faces in managing recreational fisheries, and describes recent efforts to address recreational fisheries data collection and management issues.