- The FMA establishes United States authority to manage and protect species of fish within an exclusive economic zone and in some cases--such as migratory fish in international water, but not in another country's waters--outside the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The EEZ is a boundary coterminous, or coinciding, with the sea boundary of each of the states, which extends up to 200 nautical miles from the coast.
- With the FMA, the United States drew a line on international fishing operations within the EEZ. International fishing within the EEZ is generally forbidden. However, international fishing agreements, including private agreements, existing prior to the act are still valid, and under very limited circumstances, new agreements can be created.
Management and monitoring
- Perhaps the most important part of the FMA is the protection, management, research and monitoring of fish species. It created national standards and criminal and civil penalties for taking endangered fish, and it created protection programs for the Northwest Atlantic and the North Pacific fishing grounds.