H. R. 200, Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management

This bill revises and reauthorizes through FY2022 the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). Revisions are made to: (1) requirements for fishery management plans for overfished fisheries; and (2) catch limit requirements, including by authorizing Regional Fishery Management Councils to consider changes in an ecosystem and the economic needs of the fishing communities when establishing the limits.

Why This Bill Is Against Our Values:

“H. R. 200 would reauthorize and amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the law that governs fishing in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). We oppose this legislation because it would roll back important elements of the law which are critical to making fisheries and the fishing industry in the United States economically and environmentally sustainable.” (Source: Dissenting View from Committee Report 115-758, See the end of the report)

“The Network does not support H.R. 200: it is the wrong foundation for reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens Act.” The bill, “represents a significant step backward by promoting greater uncertainty in the future management of our fisheries.” It, “threatens the Magnuson-Stevens Act’s strong foundation by weakening many conservation measures including the mandate to use science-based fishing catch limits.” (Source: Marine Fish Conservation Network)

“The undersigned organizations and individuals are united in their opposition to H.R. 200, a bill to reauthorize and amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson- Stevens Act). The Magnuson-Stevens Act is working to restore fish populations and the coastal communities that depend on them. If enacted, H.R. 200 would threaten this success and the future of healthy fish populations and sustainable fisheries. It would significantly weaken the law’s conservation provisions by creating loopholes, watering down legal standards, and decreasing accountability.” (Source: Letter from a coalition of organizations)

“H.R. 200, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 3, 2017, would significantly undermine the nation’s primary ocean fisheries law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The legislation is almost identical to two bills that failed to pass Congress in recent years. Like its predecessors, H.R. 200 would allow management decisions that increase the risk of overfishing, which occurs when fish are caught faster than they can reproduce, and that hinder the rebuilding of depleted populations.” (Source: Pew Charitable Trust)

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