The U.S. House of Representatives today passed H.R. 200, a bill to revise and undermine the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, by a vote of 222-193. In response to the vote, Meredith Moore, Director of the Fish Conservation Program at Ocean Conservancy, released the following statement:
“In passing H.R. 200, the U.S. House of Representatives just dealt a significant blow to fishermen and businesses that depend on healthy fisheries. The House has chosen to create loopholes in the law, water down legal standards and decrease accountability. After years of progress, this bill could return us to the days of failing ports and crashing fish populations.
“H.R. 200’s provisions would undermine the science-based conservation tools that ensure healthy fisheries for commercial and recreational fishermen alike. Annual catch limits and rebuilding plans work together to stabilize businesses and coastal communities hurt by decades of overfishing. This legislation would harm our fisheries by allowing fish stocks to stay at unhealthy levels instead of rebuilding them, and by removing science-based sustainable limits on catch from potentially hundreds of species. It also lets one sector of fishermen—private anglers—fish with less accountability.
“The future of the jobs, businesses, and fishing culture of our coastal communities depend on sound, science-based management that holds everyone accountable for the fish they take from the water. To safeguard the long-term health of our oceans, we must keep our laws strong.”
Meredith Moore is available for interviews upon request.
Ocean Conservancy is working with you to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together, we create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit www.oceanconservancy.org, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.