Advocacy: Tell Congress to Strengthen National Ocean Fish Law, Not Break It

A major threat to our nation’s fishing stocks is growing as Congress begins the process of reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act.

This Act, the principal law governing U.S. fishery management, has helped 34 fish populations recover from overfishing since 2000—bringing sustainable jobs to coastal communities.

Sadly, not everyone likes strong regulations. Many industrial fishing companies and some recreational fishing businesses would prefer to go back to a “flexible” application of the law, policies that existed in the 1980s and 90s, when many important fish stocks collapsed.

Representative Doc Hastings, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, recently circulated his proposal to amend the Magnuson-Stevens Act that would:

  • Allow overfishing of depleted fish populations
  • Cripple the rebuilding of overfished stocks with loopholes and excuses for inaction
  • Reducing the role of science in setting annual catch limits
  • Exempt fisheries management from broader environmental review
  • Limit the public’s access to fishery data (even data collected with taxpayer dollars)

The committee now wants your reaction to Representative Hasting’s draft bill.

Our nation’s fishery management law has resulted in rebounding fish populations.  Tell Congress America’s ocean fish law is working.  Reauthorization should build on our success, not create loopholes for special interests.