Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 111th Congress [February 19, 2009]   [open pdf - 398KB]

"Fish and marine mammals are important resources in open ocean and nearshore coastal areas; many federal laws and regulations guide their management as well as the management of their habitat. Commercial and sport fishing are jointly managed by the federal government and individual states. States generally have jurisdiction within 3 miles of the coast. Beyond state jurisdiction and out to 200 miles, the federal government manages fisheries under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSFCMA) through eight regional fishery management councils. Beyond 200 miles, the United States participates in international agreements relating to specific areas or species. The 111th Congress may oversee implementation of the MSFCMA as well as address individual habitat and management concerns for U.S. commercial and sport fisheries to achieve a sustainable balance between resource use and protection. Current concerns include whether additional effort should be taken to eliminate overfishing, how fishery disaster assistance should be funded, and whether to more aggressively encourage fishing vessel capacity reduction and limited access privilege programs. Aquaculture--the farming of fish, shellfish, and other aquatic animals and plants in a controlled environment--is expanding rapidly abroad, with more modest growth in the United States. […] Marine mammals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). With few exceptions, the MMPA prohibits harm or harassment ('take') of marine mammals, unless restrictive permits are obtained. […] The 111th Congress may consider bills to reauthorize and amend the MMPA as well as measures to address specific marine mammal habitat and management concerns, such as how to deal with the effects of increasing noise in the ocean."

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CRS Report for Congress, R40172
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