On Capitol Hill: Archive

Please see below for analyses of fisheries-related legislation prior to 2023 and the 118th Congress. For the latest legislative information, please go to our main On Capitol Hill page.

Fisheries Legislation in 2021-2022

Check out the Network’s look back at the significant actions that Congress took on oceans and fisheries policy in 2022.

Magnuson-Stevens Act Reauthorization

House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Chairman Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Subcommittee Member Ed Case (D-HI) introduced the Sustaining America’s Fisheries for the Future Act to amend and reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the keystone fisheries management law for the United States, on July 26th, 2021. On September 29, 2022, the Sustaining America’s Fisheries Act passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee.

Before releasing this bill, Chairman Huffman conducted a nationwide listening tour to hear about the issues facing communities and businesses that depend on healthy fisheries. The Network applauds Chairman Huffman’s leadership and the broad stakeholder engagement behind this bill and looks forward to working with him and and the wider community as MSA reauthorization progresses in the 117th Congress.

Keep America’s Waterfronts Working Act

WaterfrontIntroduced by Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), with cosponsor Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA), the Keep America’s Waterfronts Working Act (H.R. 3160) would establish a $12 million Working Waterfront Grant Program to help preserve and expand access to coastal waters for businesses that depend on them.

The bill would also create a five-year pilot program for a $12 million loan fund for waterfront preservation and establish a task force at the Department of Commerce to identify critical needs for working waterfronts and address the impacts of a changing climate. Read the Network’s statement thanking Reps Pingree and Wittman and urging the 117th Congress to support this bill through to final passage.

Young Fishermen’s Development Act Signed into Law

Alaska fishing boatSigned into law on January 5, 2021, the Act will help the next generation of commercial fishermen by enacting a national grant program to support initiatives to educate, train, and mentor young and beginner fishermen around the country. Read the Network’s statement applauding the law.

The 116th Congress

H.R. 3697, “Strengthening Fishing Communities & Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act”

H.R. 3697, substantially similar to H.R. 200 (introduced in the last Congress), would weaken the conservation and management provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Learn More.

Boy Fishing

“Young Fishermen’s Development Act” (S. 496, H.R. 1240)

This bipartisan/bicameral bill would establish a national grant program to support initiatives to educate, train, and mentor young and novice fishermen around the county. Learn More.

Alaska fishing boat

H.R. 3596, “Keep America’s Waterfronts Working Act”

This bill would establish a Working Waterfront Task Force and a grant program to support coastal businesses and industries. Learn More.

The 115th Congress


Assessment of Magnuson-Stevens-Related Legislation

The Network’s detailed insights into various pieces of legislation relevant to the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Learn More.

Alaska Fishing Boat [Photo by NOAA]

H.R. 200, the “Strengthening Fishing Communities & Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act of 2017”

H.R. 200 would undermine the strong science and conservation measures within the current Magnuson-Stevens Act and increase uncertainty in the future management of our fisheries. Learn more.

Recreational anglers

S. 1520, The “Modern Fish Act” [Senate Version]

This bill could roll back many of the conservation gains we’ve made through the Magnuson-Stevens Act’s science-based approach to fisheries management. Learn More & Act Now.

Red Snapper

H.R. 3588, the “RED SNAPPER Act of 2017”

This bill would expand state jurisdiction over federal red snapper management in the Gulf of Mexico creating inconsistent management plans and adversely effect the rebuilding of the stock. Learn More.

Prior to the 115th Congress

S. 1403

Fisheries Management in the Gulf of Mexico

On June 17th, 2016, the full House Natural Resources Committee marked up H.R. 3094, the “Gulf States Red Snapper Management Authority Act”. Why we consider this bill the wrong approach to fisheries management.

Senate MSA hearing

Senate: General Oversight Hearing on MSA Reauthorization

Senate Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard Subcommittee hearing on the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Learn more.

H.R. 3070

H.R. 3070 Update

On February 2nd, the House Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans held a hearing on this bill. Learn more.

S. 1403

H.R. 1335: The Wrong Foundation for MSA Reauthorization

Passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in June, 2015. The Network believes this bill is the wrong foundation for reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Learn more.

S. 1403

S. 1403: “Florida Fisheries Improvement Act”

Never reported out of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. Learn more.