The legislation, which now moves to the Senate, passed on July 11 as H.R. 200, “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act of 2017.”
According to Robert C. Vandemark, executive director of the Marine Fish Conservation network, the legislation puts short-term economic gains above the long-term health of US fisheries that commercial fishermen, recreational anglers, seafood consumers, businesses and coastal communities across the US depend upon. The bill undermines “the Magnuson-Stevens Act’s science-based conservation principles that keep oceans and fisheries healthy and productive. By passing H.R. 200, the House put the future of coastal communities and working waterfronts at risk,” he said.
Reauthorization of Magnuson-Stevens legislation “must prioritize and promote community-based recreational and commercial fishing interests, ensure healthy ocean ecosystems and environments, support and strengthen catch accounting and data management, and manage recreational and commercial fisheries for abundance,” he added.