Eugene H. Buck Specialist in Natural Resources Policy
Harold F. Upton Analyst in Natural Resources Policy
and marine mammals are important resources in open ocean and nearshore coastal
areas; many federal laws and regulations guide their management as well as
the management of their habitat. Aquaculture or fish farming enterprises
seek to supplement food traditionally provided by wild harvests.
Commercial and sport fishing are jointly managed by the federal government and
individual states. States generally have jurisdiction within 3 miles of
the coast. Beyond state jurisdiction and out to 200 miles in the federal
exclusive economic zone (EEZ), the federal government (National Marine
Fisheries Service, NMFS) manages fisheries under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation
and Management Act (MSFCMA) through eight regional fishery management councils.
Beyond 200 miles, the United States participates in international agreements
relating to specific areas or species. The 112th Congress has enacted provisions to direct certain management measures
for U.S. tuna fishing under the authority of the Commission for the
Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western
and Central Pacific Ocean (P.L. 112-55); to authorize the Corps of Engineers
to take emergency measures to exclude Asian carp from the Great Lakes
(P.L. 112-74); to create a Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund to promote efforts
to achieve long-term sustainability of the ecosystem, fish stocks, fish
habitat, and the recreational, commercial, and charter fishing industry in
the Gulf of Mexico (P.L. 112-141); and to extend the authority to make
expenditures from the Highway Trust Fund and other trust funds, including
various programs under the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund,
through FY2014 (also in P.L. 112-141).
Aquaculture—the farming of fish, shellfish, and other aquatic animals and
plants in a controlled environment—is expanding rapidly abroad, yet with
little growth in the United States. In the United States, important
species cultured include catfish, salmon, shellfish, and trout. The 112th Congress has enacted provisions to direct
the National Aquatic Animal Health Task Force to establish an infectious
salmon anemia research program (P.L. 112-55) and to authorize the Corps of
Engineers to transfer funds to the Fish and Wildlife Service for National Fish
Hatcheries in FY2012 to mitigate for fisheries lost due to Corps of
Engineers projects (P.L. 112-74).
Marine mammals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).
With few exceptions, the MMPA prohibits harm or harassment (“take”) of
marine mammals, unless permits are obtained. It also addresses specific
situations of concern, such as dolphin mortality associated with the
eastern tropical Pacific tuna fishery. Other than annual appropriations, no
marine mammal legislation has been enacted by the 112th Congress.
The level of appropriations for fisheries, aquaculture/hatchery, and marine
mammal programs administered by the NMFS and the Fish and Wildlife Service
is a recurring issue during the 112th Congress
due to pressures to reduce federal spending.
Date of Report: November 20, 2012
Number of Pages: 37 Order Number: R41613 Price: $29.95
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