The Current Regulatory Framework

Hudson River fisheries are managed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Regulatory capacity lies within the Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources. For anadromous fish species in the Hudson and in marine waters, state regulations for commercial and recreational fishing follow guidelines set by Interstate Fishery Management Plans developed through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). The ASMFC is a Federal commission created to coordinate cooperative management of shared coastal resources for the fifteen coastal states from Maine to Florida, along with the two Federal resource agencies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). As set forth in its mission statement (ASMFC, 2002),

With the recognition that fish do not adhere to political boundaries, the states formed an Interstate Compact, which was approved by the U.S. Congress. The states have found that their mutual interest in sustaining healthy coastal fishery resources is best achieved by working together cooperatively, in collaboration with the federal government. Through this approach, the states uphold their collective fisheries management responsibilities in a cost effective, timely, and responsive fashion.

A number of important laws underpin fishery management in the Hudson (see text box, "Milestones in Fisheries Legislation"). The Anadromous Fish Conservation Act provides authority and funding for preservation and restoration of anadromous fisheries, and was the impetus for much-needed research on biology, life history, population status, and characteristics of fisheries. The Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976, known as the Magnuson Act, created a 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) along the U.S. coast, enabling controlled fishing in U.S. territorial waters. Fishing in the EEZ is regulated by regional management councils and NMFS. State jurisdiction is defined as zero to three miles, and is coordinated through the ASMFC. The Sustainable Fisheries Act and the Magnuson-Stevens Act of 1996 evolved from the Magnuson Act. In particular, Magnuson-Stevens changed emphasis to include protection of aquatic habitats, to focus on optimum sustained

Milestones in Fisheries Legislation
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