Pressure is mounting in the U.S. for major reform of fisheries policies, with the aim of rebuilding fish stocks that have been decimated by decades of overfishing and ecosystem degradation. “What’s going on out there is the last buffalo hunt with regard to our fisheries,” said Leon Panetta, former chief of staff under President Clinton and now chair of the Pew Oceans Commission, a private group that has been studying the dilemma for three years and will unveil a set of recommendations this week. Marine scientists say that catches need to be reduced for at least several years to allow fish stocks to recover. If stocks are rebuilt, the U.S. could eventually double current catch levels, which would boost the nation’s economy by $1.3 billion and create tens of thousands of jobs, Panetta said. Many scientists and fishers are pushing for creation of a network of protected marine reserves where sea life could regenerate and help repopulate adjacent areas. Scientists are also calling for fishing methods and gear to be improved, noting that massive trawling nets harm coral reefs and sensitive ocean-floor areas and that tens of billions of pounds of marine life and sea birds are unintentionally injured or killed each year.