Oceana | Protecting the World's Oceans

Don't let Congress roll back fishery progress!

Over the last twenty years, U.S. fisheries managers have made significant progress in reversing the decline in fish stocks that resulted from decades of overfishing. Dozens of depleted stocks have been rebuilt and many more are on the path to recovery. Despite these successes, some in Congress want to weaken the very law that has led to these improvements.

Tell Congress to defeat legislation that would roll back the progress we have made in fisheries management that is ensuring the sustainability of our fisheries for future generations.

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    Tell Congress:

    For nearly forty years, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), our nation’s primary fisheries management law, has helped reverse the decline in fish populations caused by decades of overfishing. The reauthorizations of the MSA in 1996 and 2006 strengthened the law by including new science-based measures to rebuild vulnerable fish stocks and hold fisheries managers more accountable. Today, thanks to those provisions, dozens of overfished stocks have been restored to healthy levels and many more are on the path to recovery. As Congress considers reauthorization of this important law, the MSA’s key conservation measures must be protected.

    Unfortunately, reauthorization bills in both the House and Senate would weaken those very provisions. As we are just now starting to see considerable progress in reversing the effects of decades of overfishing, now is not the time to weaken the MSA. Our oceans—and the communities that depend on them—are facing a range of serious threats, and any reauthorization of the law should take meaningful steps toward addressing those challenges. This is an opportunity to build on the MSA’s successes, not undermine them, to ensure that our fisheries are protected for future generations. H.R. 4742 and the Senate draft bill fall well short of this mission and they should be defeated.