Why a new fisheries bill is being dubbed the "Empty Oceans Act"
What the farm bill is to terrestrial food production, the fish bill, a.k.a. the Magnuson-Stevens Act, is to the ocean—the law that governs America’s marine fisheries. First passed in 1976 to kick foreign fishing fleets out of American waters, the MSA has evolved into one of the nation’s most effective conservation laws. A reauthorization in 1996 required managers to place all overfished stocks on strict rebuilding timelines, and another in 2006 mandated hard limits on total catches. Those science-based provisions have recovered 44 once-depleted stocks, from the canary rockfish to the barndoor skate.