Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


Until the establishment of the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 (FCMA), fish outside the United States' twelve mile fishery zone were, according to international law, common property and belonged to the nation or individual that caught them. This common property law was based on the concept that fish resources were so large that no amount of fishing would interfere with the right of others to catch fish. Modern technology, however, has created equipment that enabled foreign and domestic fishermen to over-fish the resource. A reduced domestic catch led coastal fishermen to support a bill that unilaterally extended the United States fisheries jurisdiction to 200 miles. In the FCMA there are Seven National Standards including Standard Four which prohibits discrimination between residents of different states. Some of the potential management techniques cause the management burden to fall on one group of residents and not another. This burden may be discriminatory and prohibited by Standard Four or the regional councils should at least be aware that they are not treating all residents the same. Although Standard Four is legally no more important than the others, it is the topic of this thesis.