Background on the Magnuson-Stevens Act
The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (also referred to as the Magnuson-Stevens Act or MSA) is the primary law governing the management and conservation of our fisheries in federal waters, which generally extend between 3 and 200 nautical miles offshore.
Today, the United States has one of the best fisheries management systems in the world, used as a model for many other countries. The most recent report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that stocks of fish that are overfished or undergoing overfishing are at all-time lows, and the number of rebuilt stocks continues to increase. At the same time, the value of our fisheries is at a record high – U.S. fisheries have contributed to over $200 billion in sales four years in a row, and recreational fisheries support nearly 500,000 jobs.
The MSA was last reauthorized and extensively amended in 2006 (P.L. 109-479). Although the authorization of appropriations expired at the end of Fiscal Year 2013, the act's requirements remain in effect and Congress has continued to appropriate funds to administer the act.