Fisheries in the USA are managed under the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 (MFCMA). By 1991, it was reported that fish stocks had declined considerably since the act came into force. A national Committee in Fisheries was set up in 1992 to investigate ways of improving fisheries management regimes. The committee's seven recommendations framed in four broad areas are: (1) prevent overfishing; (2) improve the institutional structure; (3) improve the quality of fishery science and data; and (4) move toward an ecosystem approach to fishery management. These recommendations are designed to enchance the most effective aspects of the present MFCMA and to introduce critically needed clarifications and structured improvements.