Marine Fish Conservation Network Statement on the Senate Subcommittee Hearing for the Magnuson-Stevens Act: Oversight of Fisheries Management Successes and Challenges.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 12, 2017
CONTACT: Jo Knight,

Arlington, VA – The Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard held a hearing yesterday entitled, “Reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act: Oversight of Fisheries Management Successes and Challenges.” Robert C. Vandermark, executive director of the Marine Fish Conservation Network, released the following statement in response to the discussion in the Senate subcommittee’s hearing.

“Today’s Senate hearing was another opportunity to build upon the successful management of our fisheries upon which America’s working waterfronts depend.

“Instead, many of the witnesses during today’s hearing focused on short-term exploitation of the resource at the expense of more abundant and healthy fish populations now and in the future.

“The Network believes we must ensure that the decisions we make now support coastal communities for generations to come. It is wrong for any of us to rob tomorrow’s recreational, commercial and charter fishing businesses – and the communities that support them – of economic opportunity and prosperity because a few want more fish for themselves today. Changes to the Magnuson-Stevens Act under the guise of ‘access and flexibility’ have the potential to cause overfishing and adversely extend rebuilding timelines. Taking us back to the days of declining and unhealthy stocks would only lead to businesses failing, communities suffering and less fish for everyone.

“The Magnuson-Stevens Act allows for plenty of access and flexibility in managing these public resources while still preventing overfishing with science-based catch limits and accountability measures. Because of improvements to the law since the last reauthorization, we’ve seen great success in rebuilding fisheries crucial to fishermen and working waterfronts.

“Moving forward we should be building upon the Magnuson-Stevens Act’s success and upholding the legacy of the late Senators Stevens and Magnuson to continue to achieve healthy oceans and more productive fisheries for all Americans today and in the future.”


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 or follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@marinefishcons).