This week, Congressman Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Ed Case (D-HI) introduced a bill to reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). Since its genesis in 1976, the MSA has successfully guided U.S. marine fisheries management, but the bill has not been reauthorized in more than a decade. With climate change negatively impacting our marine fisheries in countless ways, a reauthorization to this landmark law that tackles the immense challenges of the day can’t come soon enough.
As an avid fly fisherman, Congressman Huffman understands the issues facing our community and cares deeply about them. This desire to conserve our wild fish – especially the native West Coast salmonids that traverse his district – is evident throughout the bill, which makes numerous changes aimed at strengthening our management system and preparing fisheries for the challenges ahead.
In particular, the MSA reauthorization bill tackles several issue areas that are critical for the fly fishing community:
- Readying fisheries for climate change
- Enhancing fisheries data collection and management
- Promoting healthy fish habitat and strengthening the consultation process
- Reducing fishery bycatch
- Improving rebuilding of fish stocks
- Protecting forage fish
While there is still much work to be done to get this bill over the finish line, we all owe Congressmen Huffman and Case a debt of gratitude for their years-long effort to reauthorize this critical law. Together, we have the opportunity to turn this bill into the law of the land and chart a better future for our marine fisheries.
To learn more about the legislation, check out these additional resources:
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