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Fisheries Law Enforcement: Status and Challenges


April 27, 2012


Washington, DC

Law enforcement is a critical element of fisheries management, ensuring that participants comply with restrictions intended to protect fishery sustainability and the marine environment. Effective fisheries enforcement requires responsible agencies--namely the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Coast Guard, and states enforcement bodies--to overcome challenges ranging from resource limitations to geography to regulatory complexity. Recent reforms have attempted to address weaknesses in the enforcement system and to improve the consistency and predictability of enforcement actions (e.g., see background documents).

In this café style session, panelists discussed the key challenges facing fisheries law enforcement agencies and the regulated industry, ongoing reform efforts, and what additional actions and solutions may be necessary to ensure that the system maximizes fisheries compliance.



  • Read D. Porter, Senior Attorney, Environmental Law Institute



  • Benjamin P. Friedman, Deputy General Counsel, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
  • Sam A. Martin, VP Operations, Atlantic Capes Fisheries Inc.
  • John Vincent O’Shea, Executive Director, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission


Background materials: