Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996
The Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996 is an amendment to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, a law governing the management of marine fisheries in the United States. Another major amendment to this legislation was later made under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006. The SFA was enacted to amend the outdated MFCMA of 1976. The amendment included changes to the purpose of the act, definitions, and international affairs, as well as many small changes.
There were two major changes to the purpose of the law:
- Adding the promotion of catch and release programs to conservation and management principles.
- Adding the promotion of essential fish habitat protection.
The following terms which became relevant in the twenty years following the original act were added:
- charter fishing
- commercial fishing
- economic discards
- essential fish habitat
- fishing community
- individual fishing quota
- optimum yield
- overfishing (overfished)
- Pacific Insular Area
- recreational fishing
- regulatory discards
- special areas
- vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States
Besides establishing the Pacific Insular Area fishery agreement regulations, the SFA directs the Secretary of State to “seek to secure an international agreement to establish standards and measures for bycatch reduction that are comparable to the standards and measures applicable to United States fishermen.”
- U.S. Public Law 104-297 http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/sustainable_fishereries_act.pdf
- 16 U.S.C. §§ 1801-1884 http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/usc_sec_16_00001801000-.html