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Legislation & History

The first catch share program was implemented in 1990 in the Mid-Atlantic Surf Clam and Ocean Quahog fishery. Since then, a total of 15 catch share programs have been implemented around the country. In 2007, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act was reauthorized by Congress. Section 303A outlined specific criteria and obligations for fisheries to be managed under Limited Access Privilege Programs (LAPPs), which are one form of catch share management. 

In 2009, NOAA assembled a task force to develop guiding principles and determine the role the agency should play in supporting the implementation of catch share management in fisheries that wanted to use this management approach. This task force worked with various stakeholders, and ultimately their work led to the development of the NOAA Catch Share Policy in 2010. The links below provide more information on the Congressional authorization for LAPPs in the Magnuson-Stevens Act and an archive of the Task Force activities that contributed to the creation of the NOAA Catch Share Policy.