PDF _ RL33813 - Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress
8-Oct-2008; Eugene H. Buck; 33 p.

Update: Previous releases:
October 8, 2008
June 6, 2008
February 7, 2008
July 27, 2007 (www.ncseonline.org/NLE/CRSreports/07Jul/RL33813.pdf)
June 29, 2007
May 2, 2007

Abstract: Fish and marine mammals are important resources in open ocean and nearshore coastal areas; many federal laws and regulations guide their management.

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 MSFCMA through eight regional fishery management councils. Beyond 200 miles, the United States participates in international agreements relating to specific areas or species. The 110th Congress has enacted P.L. 110-28, providing $60.4 million for Pacific salmon emergency disaster assistance as well as $110 million for hurricane recovery assistance to the Gulf of Mexico shrimp and fishing industries, P.L. 110-161 provided $13.395 million for alleviating economic impacts on the Massachusetts groundfish fishery, and provisions in P.L. 110-246 transferred $170 million to NMFS for distribution to commercial and recreational members of the fishing communities affected by the salmon fishery failure in California, Oregon, and Washington. Provisions in P.L. 110-114 increased the authorization for research on Columbia and Snake River salmon survival, including methods to reduce avian predation on juvenile salmon; coordinated management of two aquatic nuisance species dispersal barriers on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and authorized an Upper Mississippi River dispersal barrier project; authorized a feasibility study of a dispersal barrier on the Lake Champlain Canal; modified oyster restoration programs in Long Island Sound, Chesapeake Bay, and Delaware Bay; and modified Great Lakes fisheries restoration, allowing nonfederal participants to provide as much as 100% of their nonfederal share through in-kind contributions. P.L. 110-181 directed the Secretary of Transportation to review ship disposal practices, including use of disposed vessels as artificial reefs. P.L. 110-243 directed the United States to initiate international discussions to negotiate an agreement for managing fish stocks in the Arctic Ocean.

Aquaculture — the farming of fish, shellfish, and other aquatic animals and plants in a controlled environment — is expanding rapidly abroad, with more modest advances in the United States. In the United States, important species cultured include catfish, salmon, shellfish, and trout. In the 110th Congress, H.R. 2010 and S. 1609 have been introduced to promote the development of aquaculture in offshore federal waters. The 110th Congress enacted P.L. 110-85, authorizing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to enhance inspection of aquaculture and seafood products and requiring FDA to report on environmental risks associated with genetically engineered seafood products, and P.L. 110-246, reauthorizing the National Aquaculture Act and enhancing various programs within the Department of Aquaculture that support aquaculture.

Marine mammals are protected under the MMPA. With few exemptions, the MMPA prohibits harm or harassment (“take”) of marine mammals, unless restrictive permits are obtained. It addresses specific situations of concern, such as dolphin mortality, primarily associated with the eastern tropical Pacific tuna fishery.

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Topics: Natural Resources, Marine, Legislative

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