The fourth 10-year revision and re-authorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act is about to get underway.

The process will highlight different perspectives on the need for writing flexibility into the law — which was the subject of two national rallies at the Capitol, one in 2010 and another in 2012 — from the team of Congressman John Tierney and former Congressman Barney Frank, advocates of the need for flexibility on the one hand, to Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Ed Markey on the other, who does not share their view of the law as an inflexible impediment to a revitalized industry.

As the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, and a Democratic candidate in the special election to succeed former Sen. John Kerry, Markey, a Malden Democrat from a landlocked district, will be a key figure in the rewriting of the law. Unlike Tierney and Frank, however, Markey has repeatedly said he believes the Magnuson-Stevens Act has more than enough flexibility, essentially putting him in lockstep with the White House and environmental activists.

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