House Fails Fishermen and Fish by Passing H.R. 200

CONTACT: Jo Knight,

Arlington, VA – The House of Representatives today passed HR. 200, “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act of 2017.” Robert C. Vandermark, executive director of the Marine Fish Conservation Network, released the following statement in response to today’s House floor vote.

“Today, the House of Representatives voted to put short-term economic gains above the long-term health of U.S. fisheries that commercial fishermen, recreational anglers, seafood consumers, businesses, and coastal communities across the U.S. depend upon. The House passed partisan legislation undermining the Magnuson-Stevens Act’s science-based conservation principles that keep our oceans and fisheries healthy and productive. By passing H.R. 200, the House put the future of coastal communities and working waterfronts at risk.

“In order to achieve the lasting health of our marine resources, Magnuson-Stevens reauthorization must prioritize and promote community-based recreational and commercial fishing interests, ensure healthy ocean ecosystems and environments, support and strengthen catch accounting and data management, and manage recreational and commercial fisheries for abundance. Congress must take these steps to ensure the long-term sustainability of our nation’s fisheries for the benefit of this and future generations of recreational and commercial fishermen and the communities they support.

“America’s working waterfronts and coastal communities are best served by healthy oceans and productive fisheries. Our federal fisheries law has a long history of bringing both sides of the political aisle together to do what’s best for America’s recreational and commercial fisheries—and unfortunately the House did not uphold this bipartisan tradition today. The Marine Fish Conservation Network stands committed to working with Congress to make sure that Magnuson-Stevens reauthorization is informed by the experience and interests of those whose lives are guided, if not determined, by the management of our public fisheries. We look to the Senate to deliver a more forward-looking bill that better meets the needs and challenges faced by all Americans who rely on healthy ocean fisheries.”


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.