WASHINGTON (Saving Seafood) – May 18, 2015 – On Saturday, May 16, a diverse group of 20 businesses, 51 organizations, and 80 individuals representing fishermen and fishing communities from the East, West, and Gulf Coasts jointly signed a letter delivered to Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT), the Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, supporting HR 1335, the “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act,” which would reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The supporters of the reauthorization, which was authored by Alaska Congressman Don Young (R-AK), state that it will maintain the successful aspects of fisheries management under Magnuson-Stevens, while providing much-needed flexibility and economic relief to hard-working fishing communities.

According to the signatories of the letter, HR 1335 will “continue the rebuilding of depleted fish stocks, provide transparency, streamline the management process, and ensure that more scientific information is available to deal with data-poor fish stocks.” This, the signatories contend, will strike the appropriate “balance” between addressing the ecological needs of fish stocks, the conservation goals of management, and the economic needs of fishing communities that are not being met by the current Act’s rigid stock rebuilding requirements.

The signatories of the letter are geographically diverse, representing the following states: Arizona, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington. They represent many of the major fisheries and fishing regions of the United States, and while on the surface these groups may seem to have little in common, they are united in their desire to see reasonable reforms to the Magnuson-Stevens Act and additional flexibility brought to the management process.

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