Chairman Huffman’s First Listening Sessions Highlight Current Successes, Future Challenges in Fisheries Management

CONTACT: Jo Knight,

Public Participation Is Important First Step in Federal Fisheries Policy Development

Arlington, VA – House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Chairman Jared Huffman (D-CA) has completed two days of round table listening sessions in California about the current state of federal fisheries policy and the challenges that must be addressed for future management success. Rep. Huffman heard from a diverse array of marine resource stakeholders on such topics as climate change, modernizing and improving our data collection systems, improving the fisheries disaster relief system, protecting habitats, and equitable access to our marine resources. The Chairman plans to hold a series of roundtable discussions throughout the United States to assist in his development of a Magnuson-Stevens reauthorization bill.

Robert C. Vandermark, executive director of the Marine Fish Conservation Network, released the following statement:

“Chairman Huffman has shown great leadership in launching this national dialogue for marine resource policy development. By listening to a range of stakeholders from our working waterfronts and coastal communities all across the country, this process will better inform and result in a comprehensive and forward-looking reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

“Participants in the first two listening sessions affirmed that the Magnuson-Stevens Act is working. Many speakers encouraged Congress to build on that success to meet current challenges and those that are emerging in the future.

“The Network looks forward to continuing to work with Chairman Huffman and Congress to sustain the benefits of our existing marine resource policy and to capitalize on the opportunity to enhance the Magnuson-Stevens Act. In the next reauthorization bill, lawmakers must support and strengthen catch accounting and data management for all sectors, ensure healthy ocean ecosystems and environments, promote and prioritize community-based commercial and recreational fishing interests, and manage fisheries for abundance through science-based conservation measures. With these principles guiding our course, we can ensure the state of U.S. oceans and fisheries remains healthy and productive 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.