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Legislation - The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA)

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) is the primary law governing marine fisheries management in United States federal waters.

Download a complete copy (pdf, 537kb) of the MSA or browse the individual sections below.


Sec. 2. Findings, purposes, and policy
Sec. 3. Definitions
Sec. 4. Authorization of appropriations

Title I - United States Rights And Authority Regarding Fish And Fishery Resources

Sec. 101. United States sovereign rights to fish and fishery management authority
Sec. 102. Highly migratory species

Title II - Foreign Fishing And International Fishery Agreements

Sec. 201. Foreign fishing
Sec. 202. International fishery agreements
Sec. 203. Congressional oversight of international fishery agreements
Sec. 204. Permits for foreign fishing
Sec. 205. Import prohibitions
Sec. 206. Large-scale driftnet fishing

High Seas Driftnet Fisheries Enforcement Act

Sec. 101. Denial of port privileges and sanctions for high seas large-scale driftnet fishing
Sec. 102. Duration of denial of port privileges and sanctions
Sec. 104. Definitions

High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act

Sec. 603. Prohibition
Sec. 604. Negotiations
Sec. 605. Certification
Sec. 606. Enforcement
Sec. 607. Biennial report on international compliance
Sec. 608. Action to strengthen international fishery management organizations
Sec. 609. Illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing
Sec. 610. Equivalent conservation measures

Sec. 207. International monitoring and compliance

Title III - National Fishery Management Program

Sec. 301. National standards for fishery conservation and management
Sec. 302. Regional fishery management councils
Sec. 303. Contents of fishery management plans
Sec. 303A. Limited access privilege programs
Sec. 304. Action by the Secretary
Sec. 305. Other requirements and authority
Sec. 306. State jurisdiction
Sec. 307. Prohibited acts
Sec. 308. Civil penalties and permit sanctions
Sec. 309. Criminal offenses
Sec. 310. Civil forfeitures
Sec. 311. Enforcement
Sec. 312. Transition to sustainable fisheries
Sec. 313. North Pacific fisheries conservation
Sec. 314. Northwest Atlantic ocean fisheries reinvestment program
Sec. 315. Regional coastal disaster assistance, transition, and recovery program
Sec. 316. Bycatch reduction engineering program
Sec. 317. Shark feeding
Sec. 318. Cooperative research and management program
Sec. 319. Herring study
Sec. 320. Restoration study

Title IV - Fishery Monitoring And Research

Sec. 401. Registration and information management
Sec. 402. Information collection
Sec. 403. Observers
Sec. 404. Fisheries research
Sec. 405. Incidental harvest research
Sec. 406. Fisheries systems research
Sec. 407. Gulf of Mexico red snapper research
Sec. 408. Deep sea coral research and technology program


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