In a rare bipartisan effort to end overfishing, the US has agreed to impose annual catch limits on every species it manages -- that's 528 in all. The law was drafted by lawmakers and regional councils representing a mix of local interests.
For South Florida, the new regulations mean fish such as mahi-mahi and wahoo will have catch limits for the first time.
"This marks an important shift in a pursuit that has helped define the country since its founding," reported today's Washington Post.
It's the first time the US has collectively heard scientists who say catch
limits are so unsustainable they would lead to the crash of fish
populations and a drought of revenue for fishermen if things didn't
Forty of 46 fishery management plans that cover all federally managed stocks have been finalized, with the remaining to wrap before May 1.
What environmentalists are celebrating today has been resisted
by commercial and recreational groups. "This simple but enormously
powerful provision had eluded lawmakers for
years and is probably the most important conservation statute ever
enacted into America's fisheries law," said Joshua Reichert, managing
director of Pew Environment Group. For recreational fishermen (like my father), it means take your attorney on your next fishing trip.