Tag Archives: magnuson-stevens-fishery-conservation-and-management-act

MSA Reauthorization – Fishing rule reforms debated on Capitol Hill

How large of a role should the federal government have in regulating fishing fleets? Republicans and Democrats on the House Committee on Natural Resources discussed this question Tuesday in Washington, D.C., as part of renewed efforts to reauthorize and potentially amend a 40-year-old law that works to prevent overfishing and provide aid to fishing fleets.,, Several changes to the law have been made since 1996, such as setting annual catch limits and a 10-year timeline to rebuild overfished or depleted fish stocks. Republican committee members such as Alaska Rep. Don Young said these changes have taken a one-size-fits-all approach rather than provide more flexibility for regional fishery management councils to manage their own fisheries. click here to read the story 09:47

Watch Legislative Hearing on 4 Fishery Bills – click here for video

Legislative Hearing on 4 Fishery Bills – Tuesday, September 26, 2017 10:00 AM

H.R. 200 (Rep. Don Young), To amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to provide flexibility for fishery managers and stability for fishermen, and for other purposes. click here  H.R. 2023 (Rep. Garret Graves), To modernize recreational fisheries management Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017 click here  H.R. 3588 (Rep. Garret Graves), To amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to provide for management of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico, and for other purposes. click here  RED SNAPPER Act Discussion Draft of H.R. ____ (Rep. Jared Huffman), To amend and reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and for other purposes. click here To read the notice, click here 12:29

The Pie Analogy – Fleet consolidation and loss of fishing jobs a hot topic at MSA hearing

Senator Dan Sullivan brought his Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard to Soldotna on Wednesday for a hearing on the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. One theme was addressed by many of the dozen invited experts who testified. Fleet consolidation is a predictable outcome of limited access privilege fisheries, or LAPs in the acronym-filled parlance of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, or MSA. A limited access fishery is one that has been privatized in some way. For example, in the Bering Sea, the crab fishery was rationalized more than 10 years ago, resulting in a fleet today that is just a fraction the size it was before privatization.,,, In his testimony, Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotten asked that Congress not take any action that would further consolidation. click here to read the story 08:32

Modern Fish Act: boon to recreational fishing or risk to U.S. fishery?

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act sets strict, scientifically adjusted, annual catch limits on U.S. commercial, charter and recreational fisheries in order to sustain saltwater fish stocks, and is seen as a model of fishery management globally. The Modern Fish Act (MFA), a bill introduced in the U.S. House in April, would do away with limits on recreational fishermen, who argue they have no impact on fishery stocks. Environmentalists, however, say the MFA introduces legal loopholes that would allow for uncontrolled fishing at potentially unsustainable levels that could cause stocks to crash. Critics also say that the MFA muddies the waters between federal and state management, and allows political and economic considerations to override science in management decisions. The bill is still moving through Congress, and its chances for passage are presently unknown. click here to read the story 08:55

Fish Stocks And Our Balance Of Payments

Our balance of payments is overly burdened by our consumption of seafood: We import approximately 90% of the seafood that we eat. Given our natural resources, we should be net exporters of seafood. The total value of edible and non-edible fishery imports in the United States was $35.8 billion in 2016. The total value of edible and non-edible exports was $21.3 billion. The imbalance does not imply only a shipment of dollars abroad. It also implies a number of jobs exported, a number of jobs that could be created in this country, were we not to import that much more seafood than we export.,,, The reason for the imbalance in our accounts with other nations is not due to lack of fish in our waters. Not to put too fine a point on it, the imbalance is due to rules and regulations imposed by our National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) that prevent our fishermen from catching fish. click here to read the article by Carmine Gorga 09:21

Hearing: Reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, will convene the hearing titled “Reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act: NOAA and Council Perspectives” at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 1, 2017. This hearing is the first in a series to examine the state of our nation’s fishery laws and guide the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Witnesses: – Mr. Christopher Oliver, Assistant Administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Service, – Dr. John Quinn, Chair, Council Coordination Committee and Northeast Fishery Management Council Hearing Details: Tuesday, August 1, 2017 10:00 a.m. Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard This hearing will take place in Russell Senate Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov. link 09:20

Senator Cantwell casts a net for fishing advice

This is the culture of our state, this is about a way of life,” U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell told a packed house of about 30 Pacific County fishing/shellfish industry representatives Saturday in the Port of Ilwaco’s tiny boardroom. Noting that fishing in all its various forms is a pillar of the county’s economy, Washington’s third-term junior senator, a Democrat, said “we want to keep it that way.” She expects to win passage this spring of the “crab bill.” This will ensure Washington’s most lucrative fishery continues operating under the generally popular tri-state process, in which the three mainland West Coast states negotiate season details among themselves. Cantwell also noted that reauthorization of the far-reaching Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act is coming up soon, something that will benefit from local input. Meeting attendees peppered her with numerous suggestions and concerns, several of which go to the heart of industry survival. continue reading the story here 15:22

MSA – Fishing rule gives regional councils more flexibility on catch limits

DC-marchThe rule, already under fire from environmental groups in a rare conflict with the administration, could help mollify the recreational fishing industry and its Republican allies in Congress. They’ve criticized the administration for not relaxing restrictions on catches, given that many fish stocks have rebounded dramatically over the past few years. Officials with the fisheries division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said the change, years in the making, strikes an appropriate balance between current law, which has helped rescue dozens of once over-fished stocks, and the needs of the economically vital recreational and commercial industry. Some environmental groups oppose the change, saying that giving more “flexibility” to the eight regional councils that set catch limits in federal waters could soften protections that have worked well. “Unfortunately, the new rules weaken the foundations of U.S. sustainable fisheries management,” said Meredith Moore, director of the fish conservation program at Ocean Conservancy. “By allowing risky management decisions that leave stocks at low levels, we leave fish populations and fishing communities vulnerable.” Read the story here.  Read the NOAA press release – NOAA announces revisions to federal fishery management guidelines click here 20:07

Ninth Circuit Sides With Cook Inlet Fishermen

A pair of setnetters push their boat to shore in Cook Inlet in 2013.The Ninth Circuit ruled Wednesday that the federal government must manage fisheries in federal waters that require conservation, unless a fishery-management plan cedes control to a state. Reversing a decision from the Alaska Federal Court, the Ninth Circuit panel held that the National Marine Fisheries Service is required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to include the Cook Inlet in its fishery-management plan. It may not hand over control of the inlet to the state of Alaska without first drawing up a plan, according to the 20-page ruling. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has jurisdiction over Cook Inlet. In 2011, the Council voted and passed Amendment 12 to remove the net-fishing areas from its plan, arguing that the plan was vague on management goals and that the state was the most appropriate management authority. However, the amendment was opposed by the United Cook Inlet Drift Association and the Cook Inlet Fishermen’s Fund, two groups of commercial fishermen.  However, the amendment was opposed by the United Cook Inlet Drift Association and the Cook Inlet Fishermen’s Fund, two groups of commercial fishermen. They argued that the state’s failure to deal with carnivorous northern pike and its improper escapement management have contributed to a 51 percent reduction in the sockeye salmon catch since 1981. Read the story here 08:14

Pacific Council on proposed Marine Monument

Today, the pfmc waterPacific Fishery Management Council sent a letter to President Obama expressing concern about “how these National Monument designations would impact our fishery management efforts in the west coast Exclusive Economic Zone.” In it, the Council stresses: 1. All of the areas proposed for designation already have significant protections from specific fishing activities.  For example – Essential Fish Habitat requirements under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; and Cowcod Conservation Areas off the Southern California coast. 2. Fishery management decisions are best done in a thoroughly transparent public process rather than being done with limited involvement of certain stakeholders. 3. The social and economic importance of those areas cannot be understated. Read the letter from the PFMC, and the letter from the Council Coordination Committee by clicking here 07:44

Longstanding fisheries act doesn’t need changing says Hogarth and Murawski, Sam Parisi disagrees

hogarth-murawskiThose who catch ocean fish, dine on the country’s marine bounty or simply appreciate the remarkable improvement in the state of America’s fisheries can thank the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. From its passage in 1976, the nation’s premier fisheries law has been remarkably free of the party politics so often exhibited these days. And that’s exactly why we need to be careful about some current initiatives to change it. As we approach the transition to a new administration, however, a number of proposals have emerged to revise the law or change its administrative guidelines. Unfortunately, these would loosen effective protections that have been so successful in eliminating overfishing and rebuilding stocks. Read the rest here    Fishermen take another hit. NOAA wins again. How can you beat them? It seems like the deck is stacked against fishermen. Take the case in New Hampshire (”Judge rules for government in monitoring suit,” July 29). The judge ruled under the law he does not have to take into account any other scientific data. In other words, what NOAA research vessels say is the bottom line. First of all, ask a real fishermen with 20 or more years experience if those on the NOAA research vessel know what they are doing. They will tell you perhaps not. If the judge was ruling because of the way the law is written, then we need to change the law .It has been more than 50 years since the Magnuson-Stevens Act was passed. A lot has changed. We need to review the act and if necessary modify it, or our fishermen will never be able to beat NOAA in a court of law. Sam Parisi  Gloucester 14:20

COMMENTARY: 40 years after Magnuson-Stevens, not all promises kept

DC-marchThe Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act turned 40 last week and federal and state fishery managers marked that event with an opinion piece in the Alaska Dispatch News on April 12 extolling the successes of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and its implementation in Alaska as a “global model of sustainability.” As the authors point out, the Magnuson-Stevens Act sets up a “transparent governing process” intended to ensure that “science is behind every fishery management decision” in Alaska. Indeed, the Magnuson-Stevens Act sets up national standards ensuring that all fisheries are managed to achieve “optimum yield from each fishery” with management decisions “based on the best scientific information available,” and guided by carefully considered fishery management plans. BUT,,, Read the rest here 16:31

Magnuson-Stevens – Editorial: At 40, landmark fishery law needs revamping

This Wednesday is the 40th anniversary of the  of 1976. Writing on behalf of the At-sea Processors Association, a columnist offers an enthusiastic opinion that the act sets the “gold standard” for U.S. and world fisheries. But it remains a disappointment in a variety of ways. This is perhaps most obvious on the East Coast, where groundfish stocks are a small fraction of what they were in 1976. Fisheries on the West Coast, and the U.S. in general, continue to struggle. Read the editorial here 08:46

State legislators call on Brown to declare crab fishery disaster

A group of nine California legislators sent a bipartisan letter to Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday calling for him to declare a crab fishery disaster in order to help secure financial assistance for the state’s impacted fishing industry. The state legislators’ letter urges Brown to ask U.S. Secretary of Commerce to declare a fishery disaster through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. If approved, the designation would allow the federal government to issue disaster assistance as allowed under two federal statutes — the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act. Read the article here 08:20

Nils Stolpe: While it’s called fishery management, it’s not even close – Managing fishing, not fish

“At the global scale, probably the one thing currently having the most impact (on the oceans) is overfishing and destructive fishing gear.” (former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration head Jane Lubchenco in an interview on the website Takepart.com on April 7, 2010.) The Deepwater Horizon oil spill catastrophe began on April 20, less than two weeks later. Each year in the U.S. hundreds of millions of tax dollars are spent on what is called fishery management. It’s called fisheries management in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.  Read the article here 19:14

Our View: Fishery management needs balance

bullard karpThe requirement for consistency, above, might explain why Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator John Bullard told Rep. Ayotte that “eliminating overfishing” supersedes all other priorities. The Standard-Times is having a very difficult time trying to understand why a policy that will have such a clear negative impact on fishermen is being instituted when the beneficial impact on the resource — the fishery — is so unclear. Stock assessments are still determined by limited statistical sampling, which in addition to providing disputed results on stock health,,, Read the rest here 11:31

Your Definition of Bycatch is Most Likely Incorrect

So why is this important? One reason it’s important is because when the world’s largest ocean conservation organization does not understand what bycatch even is, then we have a very big problem. When ocean conservation organizations do not understand what bycatch is, it can lead to scientifically flawed statistics published in reports such as “Wasted Catch” which only amplify the confusion by spreading misinformation about responsible U.S. fisheries to the mass general public. Read the rest here 16:59

White House vow to veto fishing law changes sends a very poor message to fishermen

world_war_ii_fish_poster_1943_thumbDavid Goethel, a Hampton, New Hampshire-based fisherman of species such as cod and haddock, said the threat of a veto is premature and a “very poor message” to send to fishermen who are struggling with tough catch quotas. He said Young’s proposal is “common sense in fisheries management” and deserves a hard look. Goethel said Young’s proposal could help Northeastern regional managers rebuild cod while allowing fishermen to still seek similar species such as haddock and Pollock. Read the rest here 08:44

House committee takes up fisheries bill today

The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources will take up a bill Thursday that could potentially change the way fisheries are managed in the U.S. through an amendment to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Yes. For the better! “We’ve been working for seven years to get some flexibility in the Magnuson-Stevens Act,” (Pam) Anderson said. “It’s desperately needed.” Read the rest here 08:08

Omnibus Habitat Amendment 2 – Our View: Lift fishery restrictions to do good for all

130307_GT_ABO_BULLARD_1The New England Fishery Management Council votes this week on recommendations by the council’s Habitat Committee to lift restrictions in three closed areas. NOAA Fisheries Regional Administrator John Bullard and at least one environmental group are arguing against it because NOAA scientists are saying it would harm important spawning areas for species like cod, haddock and yellowtail flounder. (Which is bull shit!) Read the rest here 08:41

Fishing industry takes PBS to task for misleading promotion

In a letter to Paula A. Kerger, President and CEO of Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) which is attached and pasted below, the Seafood Coalition pointed out the inappropriateness of a publicly funded network using glaring distortions to hype an upcoming PBS miniseries. From the letter, “researcher Jeremy Jackson indicted by implication every U.S. fisherman – recreational, commercial, or party/charter – and the federal fisheries management system that we are and have been heavily invested in making the best in the world since the passage of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1976.” Read the letter here  An Interview with Jeremy Jackson, Renowned Oceanographer  PBS Trailer Click Here 19:49 photo credit ocean.si.edu 19:55

Tomorrow’s Catch: A Proposal to Strengthen the Economic Sustainability of U.S. Fisheries – Costello

This proposal calls for an amendment to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the federal law currently guiding the management of U.S. fisheries, that would, for certain fisheries, require transparent comparison of the economic, social, and ecological trade-offs between status quo management and these alternatives. Read the rest here   Full paper here  14:49

Final Amendment 7 to the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan

NOAA destroying fishermenThe Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for Amendment 7 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) is now available.  Amendment 7 is intended to meet several objectives, which are driven by statutory mandates under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act, including to: Read more here 16:41

Rhode Island Seeks to Join Mid-Atlantic Council, but Politics are in Play

RI delegationThe Ocean State has no voice in governance, despite being a major player in those waters.  A Case of Political Failure? Richard L. Fuka, president of the Rhode Island Fishermen’s Alliance, says the problem is inherently political—perhaps due to the current Democratic presidential administration, and certainly the ineffectiveness of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation. He particularly called out Sen. Jack Reed, who he feels should be able to get things done after his long tenure in Washington. Read the article here  20:24

MSA Reauthorization: Partisan bickering sinking fishing bill

Senate Obama no fishingTo catch a fish or save a fish: That is the question being debated in Washington.(its not that simple) It summarizes a heated argument going on in Congress, mostly pitting Republicans against Democrats, as both sides try to reauthorize the nation’s primary fisheries law.,,The Democrat-controlled Senate is working on a draft bill, but what has been leaked out has been opposed by fishing groups. Read more here 13:50

Our View: Fix the big problem with fisheries

sct logoThe reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act under consideration by Congress now needs to require better science, more contribution from the industry in gathering data for the science (Alaska fisheries rely on industry vessels for 80 percent of data, 20 percent from government,,,Read more here 08:17

Committee Approves Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act

Today the House Natural Resources Committee approved H.R. 4742, the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act by a bipartisan vote of 24-17. This legislation would renew and amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (last reauthorized in 2006 and expired in 2013) to ensure that this  fundamentally sound legislation works in the best interest of both fish and fishermen. Read more here 14:56

MSA: Finding Win-Win Outcomes For Conservation And Utilization

The economic importance of the U.S. fishing industry cannot be overstated. The survival of many coastal communities largely depends on whether Congress and fishery managers can establish policies allowing fisheries to generate yield over the long term, rebuild overfished stocks and achieve the conservation objectives of the MSA.  Read more here  09:05

The Magnuson Act: It’s a Keeper

Healthy oceans and well-managed fisheries improve coastal economies, enhance recreational fishing opportunities and provide fresh, local seafood to consumers. And while many fisheries,,, Read more here 18:04

National Marine Fisheries Service violated law – Federal Ruling on Allocation Favors Gulf Commercial Red Snapper Fishermen

GSI-LogoFederal Ruling on Allocation Favors Gulf Commercial Red Snapper Fishermen A federal ruling has been handed down that the U.S. government violated the law by failing to properly manage the Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper fishery. Read more here  16:16