Fisheries bill advances out of committee but opposition builds

Key Senators echo concerns of chefs, fishermen and environmentalists

February 28, 2018
Matt Smelser, (202) 572-3272,

(WASHINGTON – February 28, 2018) The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee voted this morning to advance S. 1520, a bill that as currently written includes dangerous provisions that would undermine important conservation tools, regional fishery management, and the nation’s commercial fishing industry. The legislation has drawn strong opposition from commercial fishermen, chefs and environmentalists. Those concerns were echoed by Senators Cantwell, Markey, Blumenthal, Udall, and Cortez-Masto, all of whom requested that their opposition be recorded. (Links to letters submitted by these groups expressing concerns with S. 1520 are included at the bottom of the statement.) 

The following is a statement from Matt Tinning, Senior Director, U.S. Oceans Program, Environmental Defense Fund. 

“We strongly support real solutions that improve the access and experience of recreational saltwater anglers. Unfortunately, S.1520 fails to address the root causes of angler frustration, while undermining regional fishery management and key commercial fisheries, and limiting the use of successful conservation tools like catch shares. 

“Senators should instead focus on encouraging regionally-driven efforts to pioneer real solutions for recreational fisheries management. We are grateful to Senators Cantwell, Markey, Blumenthal, Udall, and Cortez-Masto for registering their concerns with the bill as written, and we look forward to working with all Senators to help ensure that our nation’s fisheries continue to be the most sustainable and successful in the world.” 

Click here for a collection of letters expressing concerns with S. 1520 from more than 30 commercial fishing organizations. 
Click here for a letter from seven leading environmental organizations.
Click here for a letter from more than 150 prominent U.S. chefs. 

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