The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources voted Thursday to approve a bill to reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which governs marine fisheries in the U.S.
HR 1335, the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act, is sponsored by Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska. The vote moves the bill on to the full House. It must win approval there and in the Senate, then be signed by the President before becoming law.
"H.R. 1335 reflects more than 4 years of work with fisheries managers, and stakeholders across the nation. Through a number of modest but necessary reforms, this legislation ensures the needs of our fisheries resources are balanced with the needs of our fishermen and coastal communities," Young said. "By reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens Act, we allow for this important law to more closely reflect the current science, management techniques and knowledge of our fishermen and regional management councils. I look forward to building upon the many successes of the MSA, which has always recognized our nation’s different ocean conditions, harvesting methods, management techniques, and distinct community impacts.”
The bill addresses many of the priorities of the recreational fishing community as outlined by the Commission on Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Management in their 2014 report, "A Vision for Managing America's Saltwater Recreational Fisheries."
"The recreational fishing community owes a debt of gratitude to Chairman Rob Bishop and Congressman Don Young for incorporating meaningful changes to recreational fisheries management into the reauthorization of the nation's marine fisheries law," said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Coastal Conservation. "The Morris-Deal Report set forth a vision for the future of saltwater recreational fishing, and this bill would help to achieve that vision."