Fishing Capacity Reduction Programs

Section 312(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act authorizes NOAA Fisheries to conduct a fishing capacity reduction program if funds are provided and it is determined that such a program is necessary to prevent or end overfishing, rebuild stocks of fish, or achieve measurable or significant improvements in the conservation and management of the fishery. Under this authority, the Secretary of Commerce may buy back vessels and/or fishing permits in order to obtain the maximum sustained reduction in fishing capacity at the least cost and in a minimum period of time.

The capacity reduction program must be consistent with any state and federal fishery management plans in place for that fishery. Funding for such programs is authorized under Section 312(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and allows NOAA Fisheries to obtain funding under authorization of the Saltonstall-Kennedy Act, through specific appropriations, from industry fee systems, and from public, private, or non-profit sources.

Please see the links below for general information and the program links for specific details.


Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Buyback

Pacific Coast Groundfish Buyback

Longline Catcher Processor Non-Pollock Groundfish Buyback

Southeast Alaska Purse Seine Salmon Buyback

American Fisheries Act Pollock Buyback


Michael A. Sturtevant
Financial Services Division (F/MB5)
Office of Management and Budget
1315 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 427-8799

Last updated by Office of Management & Budget on April 03, 2018