Congress Should Keep Magnuson-Stevens Act Strong

EDF Statement on U.S. Senate Hearing on Federal Fisheries Law

February 23, 2016
Matt Smelser, (202) 572-3272,

(WASHINGTON – February 23, 2016) Members of the oceans subcommittee of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee held a hearing today to review progress under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the nation’s landmark fisheries law. The Honorable Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, offered testimony.

Below is a statement from Matt Tinning, Senior Director, U.S. Oceans Program:

“Today’s Senate hearing offered another reminder that the Magnuson-Stevens Act is a remarkable bipartisan success story. As a number of Senators noted, the MSA has made the United States a global model for sustainable fisheries management. It has led to strong and sustainable American fisheries that are set to benefit coastal small businesses, seafood lovers, and recreational anglers for generations to come.

“In some fisheries, improvements in management must be considered. But needed changes can be advanced within the existing legal framework, including through the stakeholder-driven regional council process that the MSA created.

“A complicated and protracted process of opening up the Magnuson-Stevens Act for reauthorization at this time is not only unnecessary but would be counter-productive. We urge Congress to keep what’s working.”

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