Sustainable Fisheries

Healthy Fish for a Healthy Ocean

Thanks to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, our nation now benefits from dozens of rebuilt fish populations.


The Law That’s Saving American Fisheries: The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act” is a primer and collection of stories that highlight pioneers of American fishery management as well as innovators who are opening fishing frontiers, revealing:

  • How a salmon fishing pioneer’s courage in making sacrifices for long-term sustainability set the stage for Alaska’s success
  • How successful fishermen from Alaska to Florida used discipline to turn around two decades of overfishing
  • How West Coast fishermen found the flexibility to make a living within rebuilding programs
  • How fishing entrepreneurs in Port Clyde, Maine, turned leadership into opportunity
  • Why rebuilding important recreational species such as summer flounder, bluefish and lingcod provides economic as well as enjoyment payoffs
  • What commercial and recreational fishermen believe we get from good stewardship

Fishing is an important American industry and pastime. According to NOAA’s latest economic report: U.S. commercial and recreational saltwater fishing generated more than $199 billion in sales and supported 1.7 million jobs in the nation’s economy in 2011.

In addition to driving many coastal economies, the fish featured in the stories of this report are some of the most popular fish to end up on our plates, like salmon, red snapper and scallops.

Thanks to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, our nation now benefits from dozens of rebuilt fish populations. But even as we have seen remarkable progress made, we have also seen an increase in challenges to this law, in the form of partisan politics and disasters—both natural and man-made.

For post-publication corrections and clarifications to the report, click here.

Join us in our work to protect the bounty of the sea for the future—for those whose jobs depend on it, for people nourished by protein from the sea and for a healthy ocean.

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