Congressman Garret Graves (R-LA) recently authored H.R. 2023, a bill known as “The Modern Fisheries Act”- but is quite the opposite. The bill rolls back many of the fishery protections that we've relied on for the past 4 decades.
Conservation efforts under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which is the main federal law overseeing our fisheries, have brought back over 40 species of fish from collapse. Over 50 more species are in the process of rebuilding. Frequently consumed fish such as black sea bass, red grouper and summer flounder have seen complete recoveries after a lack of management led to their collapse in the first place.
The Modern Fisheries Act ironically takes a step back in time by eliminating some of the most crucial components of successful management, such as annual catch limits, in order to appease small private interest groups. Let Congress know that you will not stand for this.
As a consumer of Gulf seafood, or simply as someone who appreciates the health of our Gulf’s fisheries, this bill spells trouble - take action now to have your voice heard.
Science is cheapened in the current language, allowing recreational fishermen to use ‘alternative methods’ to manage their fishery, which could ultimately harm the commercial industry that supplies seafood to the majority of our nation. Additionally, the bill allows third-party science to be included in determining the health of fish populations, but does not specify any standard for which this science is based upon. This could lead to questionable science being used in the management our resources.
Sign this letter telling your members of Congress that you care about the future of our nation’s fisheries. We have history to learn from, but this ‘modern’ Act seems to forget our questionable past. Take action now!
Harry Lowenburg is GRN's Campaign Organizer.