House Vote Puts Future Of America’s Fisheries In Danger

On July 11th, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to advance H.R. 200, putting the future of our nation’s fisheries at risk. EDF joined many leading fishing organizations, seafood industry leaders, chefs, scientists, and other conservation groups in strongly opposing the bill that would fundamentally weaken our nation’s foundational fisheries law, the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Fifteen Republicans crossed party lines to oppose the bill.

The following is a statement from Matt Tinning, Associate Vice President for the Oceans Program at the Environmental Defense Fund.

“The comeback of America’s fisheries is a remarkable bipartisan success story. In many regions we’ve overcome decades of failure to restore our fisheries to health and secure a brighter future for our coastal communities, the seafood industry, and anglers.

“It is shocking that Congress would jeopardize our hard-won gains. H.R. 200 undermines the science and tools that made the recovery of U.S. fisheries possible and threatens to return us to a time when overfishing was widespread. It is a lose-lose proposition for the environment and the economy. Although there was a narrow majority for final passage, the vote revealed bipartisan concern.

“H.R. 200 undercuts science-based decision-making and conservation tools that have fueled the full recovery of 44 depleted stocks around the country and reduced overfishing rates to historic lows. And rather than spur innovation in recreational fisheries management, it usurps the authority of regional fishery councils and stifles the very innovations that are helping regions like the Gulf of Mexico test new approaches to recreational management.

“Over more than four decades policy-makers, fishermen, scientists, and other stakeholders have worked hard to strengthen our fisheries law, and the Magnuson-Stevens Act is now a global model of success. H.R. 200 recklessly puts that progress at risk. We look forward to working with Senators to ensure that it never becomes law.”

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