Major Milestones of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) and America's Ocean Fish

Five years ago this month, President George W. Bush signed legislation revising and reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), requiring strong measures to end and prevent overfishing. Thanks to the foresight and leadership of President Bush and a bipartisan group of congressional leaders, science-based annual catch limits that protect ocean populations will be in place around the country early this year. This milestone in our nation’s fishing history will help keep marine species plentiful and fishermen on the water. Although we haven’t won the battle against overfishing yet, we have turned a corner and are beginning to see many of our important stocks rebound. Continued support for a strong MSA and its conservation measures will help prevent overfishing and ensure that we have healthy oceans and fresh local seafood for years to come.

1970-01-01 00:00:00

Creation of NOAA and NMFS

President Richard M. Nixon creates the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and its parent agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

1972-01-01 00:00:00

Bluefish Record

World record 31-lb., 12-oz. bluefish is caught off of Cape Hatteras, NC.

1975-01-01 00:00:00

Summer Flounder Record

World record 22-lb., 7-oz. summer flounder is caught off of Montauk, NY.

1976-01-01 00:00:00

Fishery Conservation and Management Act Passes

Congress passes the Fishery Conservation and Management Act to eliminate foreign fishing in U.S. waters and promote the domestic industry.

1988-01-01 00:00:00

Gulf Red Snapper in Trouble

A scientific assessment shows that the Gulf of Mexico red snapper population has declined to less than 5 percent of a healthy population.

1989-01-01 00:00:00

Summer Flounder in Trouble

The mid-Atlantic summer flounder breeding population has dropped by more than 70 percent from early 1980s levels because of overfishing.

1990-01-01 00:00:00

Bluefish in Trouble

Federal managers implement a plan to rebuild the valuable mid-Atlantic bluefish population, which has declined more than 60 percent since 1982.

1992-01-07 13:49:56

South Atlantic Red Snapper in Trouble

Managers introduce bag and size limit restrictions after the NMFS reports that the sexually mature South Atlantic red snapper population has declined more than 99 percent since 1955.

1994-01-01 00:00:00

All-Time High in Commercial Landings by Weight

U.S. annual commercial landings set a record at nearly 10.5 billion pounds, nearly twice the total from 1976.

1995-01-01 00:00:00


The Clinton administration makes the second federal disaster declaration in two years in response to the collapse of New England groundfish stocks and provides $55 million in emergency funding to the region's fishing communities.

Major Milestones of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) and America's Ocean Fish

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