November 19, 2005
Putting Science into Fisheries Management
Science reported that Sen. Stevens introduced legislation to reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act last week. Both the Pew Commission and the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy urged dramatic changes to address the failure of the Act to effectively prevent over-fishing and to effectively manage the marine ecosystem. In September, NOAA proposed legislation.
Stevens's bill establishes a formal peer review process for the advice provided by scientific advisory panels of regional fisheries management councils. The panels provide data on sustainable yields, health of fish stocks, and risks of accidentally catching protected species. The new bill also specifically directs the regional councils to consider the panels' scientific advice when determining sustainable fish quotas.
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