Guy Harvey Magazine

WIN-SPR 2018

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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Page 61 of 83

62 | After all, fishing is a way to get away from the more tedious and mentally- taxing parts of life. Trying to understand the complicated scientific, legal, and political factors that go into determining when and how you can go fishing isn't exactly a relaxing pastime. But for those of us who do spend a lot of time focused on fisheries policy—an admittedly small group—we're in the middle of an extremely important and exciting time, particularly for the future of how offshore fisheries are managed. The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), named after influential Senators Warren Magnuson from Washington and Ted Stevens from Alaska, is going through the process of being reauthorized by Congress. Originally passed in 1976, MSA is the primary statute governing how federal marine fisheries are managed. For the first time in its history, the topic of how MSA addresses recreational fishing is leading the debate. This is encouraging news for the millions of anglers and recreational fishing-dependent businesses who have felt like recreational fishing was an afterthought in a law and management system that has, for decades, focused almost entirely on commercial fishing. The History of MSA The world in 1976 was very different than the one we live in today (no cell phones or texting!), and marine fisheries management is no exception. Overfishing off the U.S. coast was rampant, particularly from foreign commercial vessels, resulting in U.S. fisheries that were in pretty poor shape. In response, U.S. territorial waters were expanded out to 200 miles and a framework was created for managing the domestic fishing fleet. Eight regional fishery management councils, comprised largely of fishermen, were created to develop fishing regulations. M ost anglers don't spend a ton of time dwelling on fishing regulations, much less the underlying regulatory process and statutes that lead to them. We know the season dates, bag and size limits and any other potential regulations, and we go! Recreation and Regulation Left: Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) and Senator Warren Magnuson (D-WA) during hearings on the 200-mile fisheries legislation (later the Magnuson-Stevens Act) before the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans and Atmosphere in Washington D.C., on December 6, 1973. Photo courtesy of Stevens Foundation. BY MIKE LEONARD

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