Spokesman John Pappalardo, chief executive officer of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance, said commercial harvesters expect Congress to work in good faith to advance science-based fisheries legislation and defend the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which he said has demonstrated remarkable success in rebuilding fish stocks in U.S. waters.
NOAA Fisheries officials reported earlier this year that the number of fishes on the overfished list reached an all-time low in 2017, thanks to the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
“Young men and women looking to start a career in commercial fishing face daunting challenges, including high cost of entry, financial risks, and limited entry-level opportunities,” said Theresa Peterson, fisheries policy director of the Alaska Marine Conservation Council. Peterson, who also serves on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, said that “breaking down the high barriers to entry for the next generation of commercial fishermen is critical to the very survival of our fishing communities.”
The Fisheries Communities Coalition represents over 1,000 small boat harvesters from Maine, Cape Cod, the Gulf of Mexico, California and Alaska.