HTML _ IB98020 - Fishery, Aquaculture and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 105th Congress
28-Oct-1998; Eugene Buck; 19 p.

Abstract: Fish and marine mammals are important resources of open ocean and nearshore coastal areas. A diverse body of law and regulations guides the management of these resources by a multitude of federal agencies. Commercial and sport fishing are jointly managed by the federal government and individual states. States manage fishery resources in inshore waters where approximately 30% of the annual commercial harvest is taken. Beyond state jurisdiction and out to 200 miles, the federal government manages fisheries under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act through the actions of eight regional fishery management councils. Beyond 200 miles, the United States participates in a multitude of international agreements relating to specific areas or species. Legislation in the 105th Congress related to commercial and sport fisheries proposes to address numerous concerns, including regulation of large fishing vessels, management of the Atlantic striped bass fishery, protection of coral reef ecosystems, research and control of harmful blooms, reauthorization of Wallop-Breaux sport fish restoration funding, restoration and cooperation with Canada on management of Pacific salmon, and developing a coordinated ocean policy for the 21st Century. Aquaculture -- the farming of fish, shellfish, and other aquatic animals and plants in a controlled environment -- is expanding rapidly, both in the United States and abroad. In the United States, important species cultured include catfish, salmon, crawfish, shellfish, and trout. Legislation in the 105th Congress related to aquaculture includes proposals to promote private aquaculture development. Marine mammals are provided extensive protection under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972, as amended. This Act authorizes restricted use (¨take¨) of marine mammals and addresses specific situations of concern, such as dolphin mortality primarily associated with the eastern tropical Pacific tuna fishery. Legislation in the 105th Congress related to marine mammals includes proposals to balance dolphin protection in the eastern tropical Pacific with tuna harvesting, modify regulations applicable to importing polar bear trophies from Canada (where limited hunting is legal), and provide an exemption from MMPA constraints for disentangling marine mammals from fishing gear or debris. Reauthorization of major legislation in this issue area -- the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the MMPA -- may be considered in the 106th Congress. Thus, activities in the second session of the 105th Congress also may include oversight of implementation of various programs under these major authorities. (Note that this issue brief references a number of useful Internet sites; these sites are hot-linked in the online version of this product.) [read report]

Topics: Marine

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