Bill to Reauthorize Federal Fisheries Law Introduced in U.S. House

Proposed legislation has potential to help New England fisheries, but needs work

A fishing boat heads out to sea from Boston Harbor. (c) IStock

July 26, 2021 (BOSTON, MA) – Congressman Jared Huffman, chair of the House Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife, introduced a bill to reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Act Fishery Conservation and Management Act in the House of Representatives today. The Magnuson-Stevens Act, our nation’s federal fisheries law, has traditionally represented a bipartisan effort to use science and conservation best practices to manage fishery resources. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released the following statement in response to the bill.

 “With several New England fish populations in perpetual crisis, now is the time to strengthen the Magnuson-Stevens Act,” said Peter Shelley, Senior Counsel at CLF. “Congressman Huffman’s bill has the potential to address the impacts of the climate crisis on our fisheries and improve protection of important habitat from destructive fishing gear, but it also risks weakening core provisions of the law that are essential for rebuilding overfished species. We’ll be continuing our push to end overfishing and rebuild our region’s threatened fish populations as this bill moves through Congress.”

CLF has fought for decades for fishery regulations that are based on sound science to achieve long-term results and help fishing communities thrive. More work remains to continue this progress, especially in the face of climate change. That’s why we’re working to ensure that the next iteration of the Magnuson-Stevens Act builds on the law’s success to help more fish populations recover.

CLF experts are available for further comment.