Improving the Management of U.S. Marine Fisheries

Committee on Fisheries

Ocean Studies Board

Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1994



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Improving the Management of U.S. Marine Fisheries Improving the Management of U.S. Marine Fisheries Committee on Fisheries Ocean Studies Board Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1994

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Improving the Management of U.S. Marine Fisheries NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competence and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is the president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. Support for this project was provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA Contract No. 50-DGNC-3-00016/C and No. 50-DGNC-9-00139/C and the U.S. Department of State Contract No. 1758-200602/R. Copyright 1994 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America Cover art by Ellen Hill-Godfrey. Ms. Hill-Godfrey received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Her paintings and prints have been exhibited in the Washington, DC, area and throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southern regions. She has done illustrations for the University of Georgia Press and the University of North Carolina's Endeavors magazine. She lives in Germantown, MD, and teaches at The Barnesville School.

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Improving the Management of U.S. Marine Fisheries COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES JOHN J. MAGNUSON, University of Wisconsin, Chairman DAYTON LEE ALVERSON, Natural Resource Consultants CHARLES A. BLACK, Sr., Mardela Corporation GARDNER M. BROWN, JR., University of Washington WILLIAM BURKE, University of Washington PAUL K. DAYTON, Scripps Institution of Oceanography JACOB J. DYKSTRA, Kingston, RI JAMES JOSEPH, InterAmerican Tropical Tuna Commission CHARLES MEACHAM, State of Alaska Fish & Game WILLIAM J. MERRELL, JR., Texas A&M University DONALD OLSON, University of Miami TERRANCE J. QUINN II, University of Alaska BRIAN J. ROTHSCHILD, University of Maryland Staff MARY HOPE KATSOUROS, Director ROBIN PEUSER, Study Director LAVONCYÉ MALLORY, Project Assistant CURTIS TAYLOR, Project Assistant

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Improving the Management of U.S. Marine Fisheries OCEAN STUDIES BOARD Current Members WILLIAM MERRELL, Texas A&M University, Chairman ROBERT A. BERNER, Yale University DONALD F. BOESCH, University of Maryland KENNETH BRINK, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution GERALD CANN, Independent Consultant ROBERT CANNON, Stanford University BILIANA CICIN-SAIN, University of Delaware WILLIAM CURRY, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution RANA FINE, University of Miami JOHN E. FLIPSE, Texas A&M University MICHAEL FREILICH, Oregon State University GORDON GREVE, Amoco Production Company ROBERT KNOX, Scripps Institution of Oceanography ARTHUR R. M. NOWELL, University of Washington PETER RHINES, University of Washington FRANK RICHTER, University of Chicago BRIAN ROTHSCHILD, University of Maryland THOMAS ROYER, University of Alaska LYNDA SHAPIRO, Oregon State University SHARON SMITH, University of Miami PAUL STOFFA, University of Texas Staff MARY HOPE KATSOUROS, Director EDWARD R. URBAN, JR., Staff Officer ROBIN PEUSER, Research Associate DAVID WILMOT, Research Associate MARY PECHACEK, Administrative Associate LAVONCYÉ MALLORY, Senior Secretary CURTIS TAYLOR, Office Assistant

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Improving the Management of U.S. Marine Fisheries COMMISSION ON GEOSCIENCES, ENVIRONMENT, AND RESOURCES Current Members M. GORDON WOLMAN, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, Chair PATRICK R. ATKINS, Aluminum Company of America, Pittsburgh, PA EDITH BROWN WEISS, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C. PETER S. EAGLESON, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA EDWARD A. FRIEMAN, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA W. BARCLAY KAMB, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA JACK E. OLIVER, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY FRANK L. PARKER, Vanderbilt/Clemson University, Nashville, TN RAYMOND A. PRICE, Queen's University at Kingston, Canada THOMAS A. SCHELLING, University of Maryland, College Park, MD LARRY L. SMARR, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL STEVEN M. STANLEY, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL, Landers and Parsons, Tallahassee, FL WARREN WASHINGTON, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO Staff STEPHEN RATTIEN, Executive Director STEPHEN D. PARKER, Associate Executive Director MORGAN GOPNIK, Assistant Executive Director JEANETTE SPOON, Administrative Officer SANDI FITZPATRICK, Administrative Associate ROBIN ALLEN, Senior Project Assistant (BOND)

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Improving the Management of U.S. Marine Fisheries This page in the original is blank.

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Improving the Management of U.S. Marine Fisheries Preface Marine fish and shellfish are a living renewable resource of vital importance to the nation, and sound management practices are required to ensure their long-term sustainability. Fish are a significant source of protein in human and animal diets; the associated health benefits are becoming increasingly apparent to U.S. consumers. Fishing provides a commercial livelihood on all U.S. coasts, and offers recreational opportunities for millions of Americans. To assess the effectiveness of the present U.S. fisheries management, a Committee on Fisheries was established in 1992 under the auspices of the Ocean Studies Board of the National Research Council. The committee's charge was to study and report on means of improving our nation's capability to manage its marine fishery resources. Consistent with the policy of the National Research Council, committee members were selected with a wide range of expertise—resource economics, commercial fishing, fisheries policy, fisheries science, oceanography, marine ecology, marine technology, and fisheries management—and viewpoints, to ensure balance and fair treatment. Since fisheries management encompasses a broad spectrum of issues, the committee used a number of means to gather information from fishery experts. Two meetings were organized so that the committee could hear about critical fisheries issues from panels of interest groups that included congressional staff, federal and state fisheries managers, and representatives of federal agencies, the fishing industry, and environmental organizations. Another meeting was held in conjunction with a national conference, Conserving America's Fisheries: A National Symposium on the Magnuson Act, to provide committee members with an opportunity to participate in a national debate on future U.S. fisheries policy.

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Improving the Management of U.S. Marine Fisheries The committee also reviewed summaries of testimony submitted for congressional hearings on the reauthorization of the Magnuson Act. The objective of this report is to present recommendations while Congress considers changes in the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 (MFCMA). The committee acknowledges that the report does not represent an in-depth evaluation or assessment of all of the issues relevant to the MFCMA. Rather it reflects the collective, deliberated views and recommendations of experts, who are well familiar with all aspects of the MFCMA, on how the act might be improved in the reauthorization process. The committee's recommendations are designed to enhance the most effective aspects of the present MFCMA and to introduce critically needed clarifications and structural improvements. Where consensus could not be reached, the committee agreed to accept differences of opinion and to present these differences in the report text. The committee would like to express its gratitude to Dr. Brian Rothschild for serving as chairman during the development of this report. Under his leadership as chairman, the committee made significant steps toward completing a final draft. The committee would also like to thank Eldon Greenberg for his valuable contributions to the committee 's efforts, which include preparation of a review paper on the MFCMA and the evolution of fisheries management, and participation in several discussions on fisheries law and policy. The committee hopes that this report will serve as a useful resource, contributing proactive recommendations for improving fisheries management, while Congress is engaged in national debate and deliberation related to the MFCMA reauthorization. John J. Magnuson Chairman