1976 Scorecard Vote
(S. 961) The 200 Mile Fishery Zone Limit Act: The vote is on the Muskie amendment to keep important language in the bill that extended U.S. territorial fishing rights from 12 miles to 200 miles off the coast, and allowed the government to set catch limits for species of fish that are severely depleted. Many foreign ships use fine mesh nets and other destructive kinds of fishing gear that kill many more fish than can actually be used. The bill gives U.S. fishermen priority over other nations with the 200 mile zone, and sets up regional counsels with the authority to set catch quotas and regulate fishing techniques. Sen. Cranston tried to gut these provisions, and require instead that the U.S. negotiate for reduced fish catches under a 1958 fishing treaty. But Muskie pointed out that none of the problem nations would abide by the treaty and that all international efforts had ended in failure. Conservationists supported the bill as a necessary first step to protect declining fish populations. January 28, 1976. Adopted 58-37. The correct vote is yes.