Immediate Release: June 1, 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 House vote on U.S. federal fisheries bill, H.R. 1335.
The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to debate and vote on H.R. 1335, the “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act,” the week of June 1, 2015.
Washington, D.C. – “Achieving healthy oceans and productive fisheries is paramount as Congress considers legislation to reauthorize our country’s federal fisheries law – the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Unfortunately H.R. 1335 falls short of those goals and instead could threaten the long-term sustainability of the fisheries that commercial and recreational fishermen rely on.
“The Magnuson-Stevens Act has proven successful in preventing overfishing and restoring depleted fish populations. H.R. 1335 would roll back key provisions that have led to this success, including science-based catch limits, accountability measures and rebuilding timelines for overfished stocks. It would also exempt federal fishery management plans from the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act, which mandates full reviews of the environmental impacts of management decisions and ensures opportunities for public participation in the decision-making process. Any bill 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.
“In past Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorizations, both sides of the aisle have worked together to ensure our nation has healthy and productive fisheries. H.R. 1335 diverges from this tradition by sacrificing conservation of the resource and long-term economic stability for short-term financial gains. The House of Representatives should once again embrace bipartisan cooperation and vote down this divisive and harmful fisheries management bill.”
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/blog 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.