Marine and Coastal Law: Cases and Materials

By Dennis W. Nixon | Go to book overview

Chapter 8
FEDERAL REGULATION OF FISHERIES

Selected Provisions of the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801)

Sec. 2. Findings, Purposes, and Policy

(a) Findings--The Congress finds and declares the following:
1. The fish off the coasts of the United States, the highly migratory species of the high seas, the species which dwell on or in the Continental Shelf appertaining to the United States, and the anadromous species which spawn in United States rivers or estuaries constitute valuable and renewable natural resources. These fishery resources contribute to the food supply, economy, and health of the Nation and provide recreational opportunities.
2. As a consequence of increased fishing pressure and because of the inadequacy of fishery conservation and management practices and controls (A) certain stocks of such fish have been overfished to the point where their survival is threatened, and (B) other such stocks have been so substantially reduced in number that they could become similarly threatened.
3. Commercial and recreational fishing constitutes a major source of employment and contributes significantly to the economy of the Nation. Many coastal areas are dependent upon fishing and related activities, and their economies have been badly damaged by the overfishing of fishery resources at an ever-increasing rate over the past decade. The activities of massive foreign fishing fleets in waters adjacent to such coastal areas have contributed to such damage, interfered with domestic fishing efforts, and caused destruction of the fishing gear of United States fishermen.
4. International fishery agreements have not been effective in preventing or terminating the overfishing of these valuable fishery resources. There is danger that irreversible effects from overfishing will take place before an effective international agreement on fishery management jurisdiction can be negotiated, signed, ratified, and implemented.
5. Fishery resources are finite but renewable. If placed under sound management before overfishing has caused irreversible effects, the fisheries can be conserved and maintained so as to provide optimum yields on a continuing basis.

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