1986The New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) implemented the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management PlanEconomy and Industry, Maritime & Fishing Industry

Based in Newburyport, the New England Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional bodies authorized by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Management and Conservation Act of 1976 to promote resource conservation by regulating fish harvesting practices. After attempting in 1977 to restrict catch size and limit fishing trips to counter the rapid decline of fish landings, the NEFMC issued the first of a series of increasingly restrictive measures in 1986 that expanded the regulatory controls to include days at sea, permissible fishing gear such as net size, bycatch restrictions, and fishing area closures. Despite preliminary data that had suggested cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder stocks might have been rebounding, other governmental policies were countering these effects by encouraging the deployment of larger and more powerful fishing boats and the issuance of more commercial fishing licenses. The Council’s 1986 updates to its earlier plans were challenged by the National Marine Fisheries Services, responsible for implementing and enforcing the plan. Still, those objectives were eventually withdrawn under political pressure and due to a lack of resources.

“Fishery Background and Timeline | Measuring the Effects of Catch Shares.” https://catchshareindicators.org/northeast/about-the-fishery/history-and-timeline/. Shelley, Peter, Jennifer Atkinson, Eleanor Dorsey, and Priscilla Brooks. “The New England Fisheries Crisis: What Have We Learned?” Tulane Environmental Law Journal 9 (1996). https://journals.tulane.edu/elj/article/view/1931/1778.
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