(WASHINGTON – July 26, 2021) Today, Reps. Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Ed Case (D-Hawaii) introduced the Sustaining America’s Fisheries for the Future Act. The bill reauthorizes and strengthens the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, or MSA — the nation’s primary statute governing the management of U.S. fisheries in federal marine waters. The MSA was originally signed into law in 1976 and hasn’t been reauthorized since 2006. The following is a statement from Eric Schwaab, Senior Vice President, Ecosystems and Oceans, and a former administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service at NOAA under the Obama administration:
“The Sustaining America’s Fisheries for the Future Act, introduced today by Reps. Huffman and Case, brings much-needed attention to key challenges facing modern fisheries management. We fully support the bill’s goal to strengthen the MSA by arming fisheries managers with tools that can better address some of the most significant problems facing the sustainable future of U.S. fisheries, including threats from climate change.
“We commend Rep. Huffman for hosting a nationwide listening tour to hear directly from fishing communities and to collect input from fishermen and fishing industry representatives, conservation advocates and experts in drafting this legislation. This deliberative work is evident in the resulting bill.
“The MSA is among the greatest conservation success stories of our time: rebuilding fisheries while also ensuring a thriving wild-capture industry. Maintaining the pillars of the MSA that have made it so successful — such as a robust council process and firm rebuilding timelines — are essential in any reauthorization. However, the oceans are changing rapidly, and federal fishery management must keep pace. Advances in our scientific understanding of the marine environment and new technological developments hold the potential to reshape fisheries management for people and nature together. I am particularly grateful to see these priorities reflected in the climate change and data modernization titles in the bill. I look forward to continuing to work with Reps. Huffman and Case and their staff to further improve the legislation.”
· Eric Schwaab, Senior VP, Ecosystems and Oceans
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