Immediate Release: April 28, 2015
Contact: Jo Knight, firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 930-1810
Statement from Robert C. Vandermark, executive director of the Marine Fish Conservation Network, on H.R. 1335, the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act
Washington, D.C. – “This week, the House Committee on Natural Resources is marking up H.R. 1335, the ‘Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act,’ which could weaken some of the most important conservation advancements in our nation’s federal fisheries law. The bill, introduced by Alaska Representative Don Young, is the wrong foundation for reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
“Although the Marine Fish Conservation Network shares Representative Young’s stated goal of ‘strengthening fishing communities,’ we believe that H.R. 1335 would have the opposite effect. This bill weakens important conservation provisions, such as science-based catch limits and rebuilding timeframes for overfished stocks. Anything that undermines these conservation provisions or promotes greater uncertainty in fisheries management jeopardizes the livelihoods of fishermen, seafood business owners, and coastal communities throughout the country.
“America’s oceans, and the working waterfronts and coastal communities that depend on them, are crucial to the ecological, social, and economic fabric of our country. The Marine Fish Conservation Network believes in sustaining and improving our federal fisheries law to ensure that all Americans can benefit from productive fisheries and healthy and resilient marine ecosystems.
“Congress in the past has shown great leadership in consistently improving our primary federal fisheries law to protect America’s fisheries and the people, businesses, and communities that benefit from sustainable, fresh seafood. With this reauthorization, Congress must maintain the Magnuson-Stevens Act’s conservation requirements and strong science-based management. By building upon the law’s foundation and continuing the path toward restoring U.S. fisheries and oceans, we can support significant economic benefits to our fishing communities and the nation for generations to come.”
The Marine Fish Conservation Network is a coalition of commercial and recreational fishing associations, regional and national conservation groups, aquaria, and marine science organizations committed to sustaining fish populations, healthy marine ecosystems, and robust fishing communities. For more information, visit us at www.conservefish.org or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
From the Waterfront is a blog that belongs to the women and men who work and play on the waterfront and observe changes to our oceans year by year. Visit www.conservefish.org to read fishermen’s and ocean conservationists’ perspectives and opinions on why we need strong, effective federal fisheries policy to ensure healthy oceans and productive fisheries.