Seafood Harvesters of America “National Outreach Days,” in Washington D.C.

Florida Fishermen Urge Congress to Protect America’s Fisheries, Consumer Access and Thousands of American Jobs

Washington, DC — Members of the Seafood Harvesters of America will be in our Nation’s capital next week as part of the organization’s “National Outreach Days,” urging Congress to uphold the landmark Magnuson Stevens Act (MSA) and protect fishing jobs from Massachusetts to Texas and from California to Alaska. Read the rest here

On April 28th the Seafood Harvesters of America will converge on our elected representatives to stay the course on a broken Magnuson Stevens Act. The Seafood Harvesters of America are aligned with the likes of the Pew Charitable Trust, EDF, and the Nature Conservancy.

So. As this group makes the rounds to derail the changes in MSA that are needed for many fisheries in many coastal community’s, the other side of the issue, and the need for change, begins below.

When Doc Hastings held hearings to discuss reauthorizing MSA, the environmental groups referred to it as the “Empty Oceans Act.” Doc Hastings and Don Young have done a good job of listening to some of the fishing communities that are being dismantled by incompetent and agenda-driven management.

Recently, Alaska Rep Don Young introduced House Resolution 1335, the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act, in this article, My Turn: Magnuson-Stevens reauthorization moves forward.

In an effort to ensure a proper balance between the biological needs of our fish stocks and the economic needs of our fishermen and coastal communities, I have introduced legislation with a number of regional cosponsors to reauthorize and strengthen the MSA. House Resolution 1335, the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act, provides a number of modest but necessary reforms, including efforts to: provide fisheries managers with increased flexibility and transparency; allow for improved data collection through the use of electronic monitoring; increase accountability for our federal agencies; and create predictability and certainty for coastal communities that depend on stable fishing. Read the article here

The Congressman’s article was rebutted by Stosh Anderson,  a fisherman from Kodiak and former North Pacific Fishery Management Council member, who thinks MSA is only applicable to Alaska fishery management! He wrote an opinion piece in the Alaska Dispatch titled Don Young seeks to unwind ‘Alaska Model’ for fisheries in Magnuson-Stevens Act  Read the article here  Don Young answered back. Don Young: Stosh Anderson misrepresents Magnuson-Stevens reauthorization Read the article here

Dick Grachek commented at on Andersons article, and lays out what HR 1335, “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act”, does for the nation’s fishing communities.

“Under Young’s bill, annual catch limits, set to keep fish stocks healthy for the long run, would no longer be necessary for managers. Reasonable timelines put in place to replenish depleted fisheries could also be loosened or open-ended, delaying economic and recreational opportunities that come from healthy stocks.” (Stosh Anderson)

“Reasonable timelines”? How about arbitrary and baseless?

Even Jane Lubchenco, NOAA Fisheries Director admitted in a congressional hearing that there was no scientific basis for the rigid rebuilding timelines in the 2006 Reauthorization of Magnuson Act. Jane Lubchenco was one of the authors of the infamous “Oceans of Abundance”… (this was an eco-political leaflet and primer sponsored by and filled with NGO lobbyist talking points aimed at the signers of the 2006 reauthorization)

And “flexibility” and “transparency” as stated in the House Proposals does not mean the elimination or undermining the necessity of “catch limits based on science”.

East Coast fishing communities have been devastated by the legislated rigidity in the timelines for rebuilding historically varying fish populations, coupled with the imposition of catch shares in 2010 (in violation of the existing MSA Reauthorization Act 2006, MSA 303A (D) NEW ENGLAND AND GULF REFERENDUM and National Standard 5). This House Bill remedies some of those inequities.

The proposals for flexibility, transparency, predictability, fishermen representation, and taking into account the environmental and socio-economic aspects of fishery management in this current reauthorization bill before Congress are long overdue. And actually most of these current reauthorization proposals are simply reinforcing and making more specific several existing—but mostly ignored by management—MSA Standards relating to “setting catch limits based on science” and insuring that it’s the “best available science” through utilizing cooperative surveys and assessments from “other sources” (National Standard 2). Current proposals also reinforce the National Standards 1, 4, and 8, which account for the survival of the fishing communities.…

The current House Bill proposals clearly do not reverse or “gut” any of the basic fish replenishing tenets of the Magnuson Stevens Act.

From the House Natural Resources Committee website:….

“The draft proposal, while maintaining the key themes of the Act, would make the following improvements: – Provide flexibility for fishery managers when rebuilding depleted fisheries – Provide flexibility for fishery managers when setting annual catch levels – Provide more transparency for fishermen and others in both science and management – Provide more predictability and stability for fishermen and fishery-dependent communities – Allow fishery managers to take the economic impact of their decisions into account when setting harvest levels and developing rebuilding plans – Allow fishery managers to take environmental conditions into account when establishing harvest levels and developing rebuilding plans – Allow fishermen in regions where catch share programs have been controversial to have a say in whether a new catch share program will be implemented and to be provided better information when considering such a program – Provide a schedule for obtaining better fishery dependent and fishery independent data especially for data poor fisheries and provide greater protection for confidential information submitted to regulatory agencies – Authorize appropriations for an additional five fiscal years at current funding level”

Visit…. to learn more. Or…

Jessica Hathaway Editor in Chief of National Fisherman: A Five Year Failure.

Catch share programs have been heralded in all corners of the country, first by NGOs and second by some of the fleet owners, fishermen and processors to whom they have brought success.

The counterbalance to those claims of success are of course the thousands of voices of fishermen and many more thousands of supporting small businesses put out of work as a result of catch share programs. But even worse, at least one catch share program was implemented with such haste that it may actually be damaging the ecosystem it was prescribed to save.Enter: New England groundfish. In a press release yesterday, Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance Community Organizer Brett Tolley stated, “In the five years since the catch share policy was implemented in New England, fishing rights have dramatically consolidated, community based fishermen have less access to fishing quota, and pressure on inshore fishing areas has increased.” 

Flexibility in Magnuson is the only way to give some New England and Southern fisheries a whisper of hope. The fishermen in these regions need legislation to push their councils to take a holistic look at fishing communities and ecosystems. How can we refuse to offer a helping hand to fellow fishermen?  Read the rest here

MSA doesn’t only affect fishermen, it affects the supporting industry infrastructure, and consolidation of the nations fishing fleet means closures of those businesses.

Industry Infrastructure – Allied fishing businesses critical to seafood industry survival

When consumers enjoy a seafood dinner caught by local boats, it isn’t just the fisherman they need to thank for the pleasure.

Dozens of family-owned allied area businesses play a vital role in the local fishing industry, supplying a wide variety of goods and services that keep fishing afloat, ranging from gear and fuel to food, fresh water and ice.

Retired fisherman James Kendall, owner of New Bedford Seafood Consulting, underscores the importance of these allied businesses to all sectors of the commercial seafood industry. Often family-owned, these operations, he notes, have been forced to become “very adaptive” to meet the changing and frequently diminishing needs of the fishing industry brought about by the reduction in fishing trips allowed by the federal government.

“The fishing industry is not only the boats of the fishermen,” she (Angela Sanfilippo) said, noting that the infrastructure on land, which includes the wharves where fishing boats dock, ship chandleries that sell supplies, repair facilities, seafood auction houses, and the truck drivers who transport fresh fish to market all play a key role in maintaining the area’s commercial fishing industry. Read the rest here

If you read this article between 4/28/2015, and 4/30/2015, the Seafood Harvesters of America, (click here) a special interest group, will be lobbying our representatives that you may have voted for, in Washington D.C. to maintain the current, broken Magnuson Stevens Act.

They are not there to fix it.


One Response to Seafood Harvesters of America “National Outreach Days,” in Washington D.C.

  1. Joel Hovanesian says:

    Sellouts and prostitutes. End of story.

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