Changes to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Act Considered

Senate Worked With Environmental Defense, Fishermen and Community Leaders

On December 15, the Senate considered changes to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), which governs all fishery management activities within the federal 200-mile limit through eight Regional Fishery Management Councils. The bill contains several important conservation reforms, including limited access privilege programs (LAPPs), key management tools that can make our fisheries more sustainable and profitable. Although the original legislation introduced last month contained provisions that hampered the LAPP process and limited their effectiveness, Environmental Defense successfully joined with fishermen and community leaders to amend these provisions, and new language was included in the bill today.

"The Commerce Committee's action takes the country a step closer to a new era for ocean stewardship in which conservation can make good business sense for fishermen," said Environmental Defense Oceans Program Director David Festa. "This will lead to economically viable fishing communities, better recreational opportunities and supplies of fresh seafood. Environmental Defense commends the Senate for working actively with fishermen and the conservation community to craft a workable solution."


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