New NOAA Report States Sustainable Fisheries Management Policies are Making U.S. Fisheries Profitable and Sustainable; Grijalva Says, “The Magnuson-Stevens Act is Working”

Sustainable fisheries management policies have allowed America’s commercial and recreational fisheries to be powerful economic contributors, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) annual Fisheries of the United States report released today. The report also states that the value of fishery landings held steady in 2014 and match those of the past decade. NOAA estimates that rebuilding stocks, which remain overfished, would add $31 billion and 500,000 new jobs to the economy. Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) issued the following statement on the report findings:

“These steady returns show that the Magnuson-Stevens Act is working to make U.S. fisheries profitable and sustainable. Attempts by House Republicans to gut the science-based fishery conservation and management provisions of this law would make fishing communities and our nation’s economy worse off. We need to stay on course and continue managing and rebuilding fisheries based on the best available science, not retreat to the failed policies of the past.”

In June, House Republicans pushed through H.R. 1335, a bill many fishermen and conservationists have dubbed the “Empty Oceans Act.” H.R. 1335 would roll back provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act which prevent overfishing, require science-based catch limits, and mandate that overfished stocks are rebuilt quickly. The bill also includes language that undermines a number of other bedrock conservation laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Antiquities Act, and the National Marine Sanctuaries Act.