Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are fishing for trouble. They're trying to pass a bill that would gut the Magnuson-Stevens Act. This bill puts fish populations and fishermen's livelihoods at risk.
Thanks to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, we've seen fish populations make a great recovery. That's not just good news for ocean ecosystems. That also helps local economies and fishermen.
Please join us in telling Congress to stop fishing for trouble and to protect fish populations and fishermen.
H.R. 1335, the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act, would put American fish stocks and jobs at unnecessary risk. The Magnuson-Stevens Act has proven to be an effective tool in ending overfishing in the U.S. and rebuilding fish populations.
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Whether rebuilding U.S. fish populations or ending overfishing, the 39-year-old Magnuson-Stevens Act leads to more fish and better fishing opportunities. Members on both sides of the aisle substantially amended the Act in 1996 and again in 2006, safeguarding a vital part of our economy and our environment. Those key conservation provisions are working today and have led to the successes we are seeing in the water.
The livelihoods of local fishermen depend on healthy fish populations. The value of Alaska's seafood exports has increased by 150 percent from 2000 to 2011. The quota for red snapper, the Gulf's iconic fish, more than doubled in just four years between 2009 and 2013.
I urge you to oppose H.R. 1335, which would undermine the Magnuson-Stevens Act and all the fish and fishermen who depend on it. I also urge you to oppose any amendments that would make this legislation even more damaging to our fishery management system -- including amendments to weaken management of iconic species like red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico. We can't afford to go back to the days of overfishing. Our ocean and local fisherman depend on healthy, sustainable fish populations.