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Members Review Proposals to Modernize Federal Fisheries Management

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 26, 2017 -

Today, the Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans held a legislative hearing on a series of bills aimed at improving federal fisheries management for commercial and recreational fisherman.

Many of you here today probably consider this to be a fishery hearing, but I assure you it is much more than that. Whether we are talking about a commercial, recreational, or charter boat operation, the working waterfront that provides shore-side support, a boat manufacturer, or your local mom and pop bait and tackle shop, today’s hearing is about supporting American small businesses,” Subcommittee Chairman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) said.

H.R. 200, introduced by Chairman Emeritus Don Young (R-AK), reauthorizes the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Since the last reauthorization, fishermen’s access has been eroded by federal agencies that ignore public input and rely upon outdated science in management decisions. Existing implementation of the law has resulted in negative impacts to local economies and a greater regulatory burden on recreational and commercial fishermen.

My bill works to strengthen the Magnuson-Stevens Act by giving our nation’s regional fisheries councils the added flexibility they need,” Young said.As a father of the original 1976 legislation, my goal is to reauthorize the MSA with a focus on maintaining the species; ensuring they’re healthy, can retain themselves and can continue to support coastal communities that rely on these fisheries.

The Committee also discussed two bills from Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA), H.R. 2023, the “Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017,” and H.R. 3588, the “RED SNAPPER Act,” which looked more closely at systemic issues facing recreational fishers and more specifically red snapper management.

It is my hope that we can use these bills in front of us today to produce a strong, bipartisan Magnuson-Stevens reauthorization that supports jobs and our fishermen by strengthening the science, data, and process used in federal fisheries management,” Lamborn added.

Chris Oliver, Assistant Administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), conveyed the administration’s support for the added flexibility for innovative, regional management plans.

NOAA Fisheries stands ready to work with the Congress to craft a reauthorization bill that addresses current fishery management challenges and ensures the Nation’s fisheries are able to meet the needs of both current and future generations,Oliver stated.

Click here for full witness testimony.

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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