Bipartisan Fisheries Policy: A Worldwide First

commercial shrimper, photo by author

According to the Washington Post, the US has overcome bipartisan politicking long enough to enact amendments to the Magnusen-Stevens Act that puts all fishery stocks into management – not just those threatened by overfishing. In practice, that means each stock has an absolute maximum catch limit for 2012. Perhaps the most resounding success of this policy is that it actually addresses scientific criticism of current management (covered fairly well by MAST) that implementing catch limits for one species just shifts fishing effort to other species – which then must have yet another species-specific policy put in place after overfishing occurs. Implementing fishery management plans for all fishery species at once eliminates the by-the-seat-of-your-pants feeling that previous US management conjures.

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