According to Steve Murawski, a scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service, no other country besides the U.S. has an enforced law in place to define and regulate overfishing. The current law, reauthorized in 2007, mandated an end to overfishing by the conclusion of the 2010 fishing season for fish populations living exclusively in U.S. waters. The law basically sets a catch limit for fish species that have been determined to have population levels lower than is sustainable for the continuation of the species. Environmental groups have celebrated the law, while fishing industry groups and individual workers have declared it to be excessive regulation.
It does seem that the US has the most stringent laws, but we are certainly not the ONLY country with any laws about overfishing. The laws in place in other countries are either not strong enough or not as strongly enforced, but there are measures being taken to change this.
The United Nations has a treaty which deals with overfishing called “The Law of the Sea” and their website has more information than I know what to do with!
Recently I have heard about laws being put into place to stop Japanese from overfishing various whales, sharks, and bluefin tuna that are on the verge of extinction.
I think that the main reason that the US currently has the most laws regarding overfishing is that we may have been the first to really see it’s effects, mainly with regards to the Northwest and the salmon population. I could be wrong! Regardless, it does seem like overfishing is something that the world is dealing with now, and even the Japanese, who have claimed that tradition is what keeps them overfishing, are starting to see that if they continue at the rate they’re going there won’t be any fish left.
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