Making Progress in Ending Overfishing

Making Progress in Ending Overfishing

In the 1990s, important fish populations along U.S. coastlines, including mid-Atlantic summer flounder, Gulf of Mexico red snapper, and Pacific coast lingcod, were so depleted that the government categorized them as overfished. In 1996 and in 2006, Congress significantly strengthened the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the primary law governing our nation’s ocean fish. The revisions included timelines for rebuilding depleted fish populations and science-based annual catch limits to prevent overfishing.

Thanks to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, a cornerstone in one of the world’s best fishery management systems, our nation’s ocean fish are recovering from a history of overfishing.


The front facade of the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, DC.
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Agenda for America

Resources for federal, state, and local decision-makers

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Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for emerging challenges, it makes government more effective and better able to serve the public interest.

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States of Innovation

Data-driven state policy innovations across America

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Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for difficult challenges. When states serve their traditional role as laboratories of innovation, they increase the American people’s confidence that the government they choose—no matter the size—can be effective, responsive, and in the public interest.