Tagged Congress

Building on Success

In late fall of 2006, Congress came together to strengthen the primary law that governs our nation’s ocean fisheries—the Magnuson-Stevens Act, originally passed in 1976. A push from leaders on both sides of the aisle, combined with strong support from President George W. Bush, helped overcome political differences.Now the House Committee on Natural Resources has advanced a bill to reauthorize and amend the act. Unlike eight years ago, however, this measure lacks significant bipartisan support—and a number of its provisions would undermine key reforms that have proved instrumental in rebuilding depleted U.S. ocean fish populations. … More Info »

Now Here’s an Idea We Can All Get Behind

For a law that determines so much of the health of the ocean and the ocean economy and serves as the de facto management framework for our nation’s ocean wildlife, the bill to reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) received fairly brief treatment before being passed from the House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee in late May. However, during the markup of the bill there was a rare bright spot. Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA) offered an amendment that would require that every fishery management plan and every rebuilding plan for overfished stocks be required to have a probability of success that at least has a 75% chance of success. What’s not to like about that? … More Info »

The Myth of Flexibility

Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing on Congressman Doc Hastings’ proposed bill to reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Conservation Law Foundation Senior Counsel Peter Shelley’s oral testimony to the committee is included below. … More Info »

The Bottom Line: Rebuilding Plans Work for U.S. Fisheries

Status of US Fish Stocks 1997-2012

By Lee Crockett, The Pew Charitable Trusts. A congressional hearing this week on the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act examined a new report from the National Academies on the law’s effectiveness in rebuilding depleted fish populations. As a member of the peer-review panel for the report, I can attest to the amount of work that went into this study, which clearly recognizes our nation’s overall success in restoring fish stocks. … More Info »

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, January 25th

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, the SSC sets 2013 Allowable Biological Catch for three stocks; John Bullard denies a request for interim measures; the New England shrimp season begins; the Marine Fisheries Institute will review the groundfish stock assessment process; concern over a loss of fisheries advocates in Congress; an investigation into fisheries rulemaking finds flaws in recordkeeping. … More Info »

Globe, Times Miss Boat on Real Issues

The Northeast’s two leading newspapers both editorialized recently on the fragile status of groundfish populations, especially cod, on both sides of the Atlantic. Unfortunately, both the Boston Globe and New York Times missed an opportunity to emphasize conservation measures and explain the great risk for fish and fishermen if we weaken those protections. … More Info »

A Proposal for NOAA

Why does this current groundfish crisis seem so familiar? As the populations of New England’s cod, haddock and flounder have continued to decline, it’s not surprising that the number of fishing boats chasing them have declined. … More Info »

More Congressional Fisheries Misdirection

Despite its caption, the “Transparent and Science-Based Fishery Management Act of 2012,” H.R. 6350, introduced by U.S. Representative John Runyun of New Jersey just hours before Congress adjourned for summer recess on August 2nd is a misguided piece of legislation. … More Info »

Congress, Catch Shares, and the Councils

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives held a spirited debate and ultimately voted for an appropriations rider that prohibits NOAA, NMFS and the councils from developing new catch shares management plans on the East Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. While this debate was focused on catch shares as a means of management, which has been a lightning rod of controversy lately, the message it sends to the councils is far more concerning. If Representatives Frank (D-MA), Southerland (R-FL) and others are upset about how catch shares are being implemented in particular fisheries, the appropriate response should be to focus on addressing the issues in those specific fisheries and regions. … More Info »

Overfishing 101: Celebrating a good year for marine conservation

Lee Crockett leads the Pew Environment Group’s efforts in Washington, D.C. to establish policies to end overfishing and promote sustainable fisheries management. In October, I spent two days fishing off Montauk, N.Y. In fact, I was quite sore by the end of the second day after reeling in dozens of false albacore, bluefish, and striped bass. The success of the trip was due in part to the skill of my guide, Captain John McMurray. But it also is a testament to the health of the three stocks we were targeting. … More Info »