Urge Congress to protect our nation’s fish populations!
The United States is a leader in fisheries management, but a bill that is scheduled to be voted on this week by the House of Representatives could change all that. H.R. 200 would make changes to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the law that governs how our fish populations are managed, that would compromise the basis of the system that has led to our successes.
One of the cornerstone objectives of current U.S. fisheries policy is to prevent overfishing by relying on the best available science to make sound management decisions. The primary tools for achieving this objective are science-based annual catch limits developed by regional fishery managers. Through the use of these tools, overfishing has dropped to historic lows, allowing fishermen greater stability and the ocean ecosystem more protection. However, H.R. 200 will exempt many fish stocks from having catch limits, leading to an increased risk of overfishing. In addition, it adds broad loopholes in the requirement to rebuild overfished populations as soon as possible.
Ask your representative to oppose H.R. 200 now to safeguard our fisheries and support the MSA.
In the 40-plus years since the MSA was enacted, the challenges facing our fisheries have changed. Rather than weakening fisheries management, Congress should update the law to give managers greater ability to address these challenges, including damage to essential fish habitat, changing ocean conditions, and increased offshore activities such as coastal dredging and drilling.
H.R. 200 represents shortsighted approaches that would take us back several decades, to the day when overfishing and depleted fish populations were chronic problems. Help ensure that fishermen, coastal communities, oceans, and future generations benefit from stable, abundant fish populations. Please urge your representative to vote NO on H.R. 200 when it is considered by the entire House of Representatives this week!