Congress Updated on Status of Marine Fisheries

Wednesday, September 01, 1999
In its second report to Congress on the status of marine fish stocks, the National Marine Fisheries Service said 100 species reviewed are overfished or approaching an overfished condition, while another 200 species are not overfished. Data from the report will be used by national and regional fishery managers as they finalize plans to end overfishing and rebuild the depleted fisheries, officials of the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. The report and marine fish stock rebuilding efforts are required under amendments to the Magnuson-Stevens Act passed in 1996. The Regional Fishery Management Councils are required to reassess each Fishery Management Plan (FMP) - plans developed by the councils to manage fishery resources in federal waters - for compliance with overfishing provisions. This year's report identifies eight additional species that are overfished, and one additional species that is approaching an overfished condition. The Fisheries Service will now notify the regional councils that they may be required to submit measures to end overfishing and rebuild those stocks determined to be overfished. The councils have until Oct. 9, 1999, to submit updated or prepare new FMPs for review and approval.

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