National Fisherman


As Congress prepares to consider reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the rebuilding provision of that law has—again—become a lightning rod.
 
The rebuilding provision, which Congress incorporated into the law by Congress in the 1996 reauthorization, mandates that overfished fisheries be rebuilt to healthy levels in a time period “as short as possible… not [to] exceed 10 years except in cases where the biology of the stock of fish, other environmental conditions, or management measures under an international agreement in which the United States participates dictate otherwise” (Section 304(c)(4)).
 
There is much debate about whether the provision is flexible enough (despite the clearly stated exceptions).   And last Friday, Representative Doc Hastings introduced a bill that would severely weaken the provision.
 
Curiously little attention has been focused on the primary question: Is it working?
 
In a recently released paper, we (Kimberly Lai-Oremus, Brad Sewell and I) gathered data from every regional fishery management council and conducted the first statistical examination of this question. In this study, we asked whether the implementation of the rebuilding requirement was associated with a rebound in depleted fish populations. The analysis shows compelling evidence that it was.
 
Read the full story at the NRDC Switchboard>>

Inside the Industry

Pat Fiorelli, the long-serving public affairs officer for the New England Fishery Management Council, will step down at the end of July.

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The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced last week the sixth round of grant awards from its Fisheries Innovation Fund, a program launched in 2010 to foster innovations that support sustainable fisheries in the United States. 

The goal of the Fisheries Innovation Fund is to sustain fishermen and fishing communities while simultaneously rebuilding fish stocks.

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