U.S. Fisheries Management Bill is Bad for Fish

Photo: Anthony Quintano

Look again—it’s Groundhog Day on Capitol Hill.

Like the endlessly repeating day that a cynical weatherman lives through in the 1993 movie, a fisheries bill recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives is a reprise of legislation we saw in the past two Congresses. And, just like those prior bills, the “new” one would significantly weaken our nation’s fishery management law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation, and Management Act (MSA), which was enacted more than 40 years ago.

The act, as updated with substantial bipartisan support in 1996 and 2006, is helping prevent overfishing and allowing dozens of depleted fish populations to recover. But today many fisheries are still struggling from decades of overfishing, habitat loss, and changing ocean conditions.

H.R. 200, which was introduced on the first day of the new Congress, is the wrong approach for addressing those persistent threats. Like its 2015 predecessor, which was tagged as the “Empty Oceans Act” by opponents in Congress, H.R. 200 would turn the clock back, allowing for riskier fishery management decisions that will make overfishing more likely and delay restoring fish populations to healthy levels. An almost identical bill also stalled in Congress in 2014.

LINK (via: Talking Fish)

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