Ranking Member Grijalva Questions Need for Unpopular, Partisan Republican Bill Weakening Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Law

Washington, D.C. – House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva released the following statement ahead of tomorrow’s Committee consideration of amendments to H.R. 1335, the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act. The Republican bill would weaken the successful Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

“This bill is an overreaching, unpopular overhaul of a law that doesn’t need it. Scientists, conservationists and fishermen alike oppose this effort, and I see no reason to support it. The past two reauthorizations have represented the best tradition of bipartisan, collaborative policymaking. This bill is neither bipartisan nor collaborative, and it weakens our fisheries.

“If we want to improve Magnuson-Stevens, let’s work together to make targeted changes that would strengthen our fisheries management, our coastal communities, and our environmental stewardship. The last thing we need to do is rewrite whole sections of a law that’s improving the productivity and profitability of our fisheries now more than ever.”

Letters to Congress opposing H.R. 1335 from the Marine Fish Conservation Network, the Fishing Community Coalition, an independent coalition of fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico, and an alliance of West Coast conservationists and business owners – along with a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 2014 report on fishing stocks – are available at http://1.usa.gov/1GFQx5B. The NOAA report finds that domestic overfishing has hit an all-time low thanks in part to Magnuson-Stevens.