What is the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act?
The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) is the landmark law that governs fishing in our federal ocean waters and is one of the world’s most successful fishery management policies. Enacted with strong bipartisan support in 1976, the legislation was updated in 1996 and again in 2006 to ensure it best supports both the interests of fishermen and a strong ocean ecosystem.
What does the Magnuson-Stevens Act do?
The Magnuson-Stevens Act mandates conservation and management principles that prevent overfishing, rebuild depleted stocks, and ensure that chefs and everyone else who relies on the ocean for healthy, plentiful fish stocks are able to enjoy the recreational and economic benefits of this resource, both now and far into the future.
Does the Magnuson-Stevens Act work?
The Magnuson-Stevens Act has become a model for fisheries management around the world, successfully rebuilding fish populations and bringing overfishing to near all-time lows. The success of this policy to date has enabled U.S. chefs to offer a wider variety of domestic seafood that meets our environmental standards in our kitchens and restaurants.
Why are chefs launching this effort?
We’ve made great progress under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, but there is still more work to be done.
To maintain this progress, we must preserve the strong conservation measures of the MSA that prioritize the long-term health of U.S. fish stocks over short-term economic gains, such as:
- Requiring management decisions be science-based;
- Avoiding overfishing with catch limits and tools that hold everyone accountable for the fish that they remove from the ocean; and
- Ensuring the timely recovery of depleted fish stocks.
To keep our businesses and our oceans healthy, we support sustainably managed U.S. fisheries and are committed to promoting the continued success of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.