Soapbox Update: Sound Fisheries Policy is Under Attack!

Besides walking Capitol Hill on the legislation on sea lion predation on our Northwest stocks of salmon and steelhead, myself (Bob Rees) representing the Association of Northwest Steelheaders, and two representatives from the NW Guides and Anglers Association chatted with Oregon and Washington house and senate staff about H.R. 200 and the damaging implications on sound saltwater fisheries management. Please consider taking action TODAY, as H.R. 200 is a bad bill for our ocean fisheries and is up for a floor vote early next week.

Purpose: Contact U.S. House of Representatives: Oppose H.R. 200

Background: H.R. 200, “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act,” [is/may be] headed to the House floor for a vote as early as next week. Anglers invested in good ocean management oppose this legislation because it would undermine the Magnuson-Stevens Act’s mandate for science-based fisheries management that’s brought dozens of fish species back from the brink of collapse.

Additional information on H.R. 200 is available on the Network’s website. Full analysis of this legislation can be found here.

What anglers can do to help: Tell Congress: oppose H.R. 200. Our fisheries need science-based management for our fishing communities to thrive. ACT NOW!

You can use this action alert or contact your Representatives office directly (find your Representative here.)

Talking points for Congressional phone call:

  • Rep. Don Young’s H.R. 200, “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act,” is the wrong foundation for reauthorizing Magnuson-Stevens!
  • H.R. 200 would:
  • Represent a significant step backward and hinder federal fisheries managers’ ability to rebuild and maintain sustainable fish stocks.
  • Threaten the law’s strong foundation and weaken many conservation measures, such as the requirement to use science-based fishing catch limits that prevent overfishing.
  • Broaden the categories of data deemed to be “best available science” to include information provided by sources untrained in scientific survey methods and data gathering, which creates uncertainty in the future management of our fisheries.
    • Congress should focus on legislation that builds upon the Magnuson-Stevens Act’s success and strengthens it to meet the new challenges our oceans and fisheries face.
    • Please oppose H.R. 200.

 

Sample email to Congressional member:

Subject: Support Science-Based Fisheries Management: Oppose H.R. 200

Text: Please oppose Rep. Don Young’s H.R. 200, the “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act of 2017.”

This bill takes the wrong approach to reauthorizing the landmark Magnuson-Stevens Act, which brought science-based decision-making to fisheries management and brought many of our fishing communities back from the brink of collapse.

H.R. 200 would:

  • Represent a significant step backward and hinder federal fisheries managers’ ability to rebuild and maintain sustainable fish stocks.
  • Weaken some of the most important measures adopted during previous reauthorizations and creates exemptions that have the potential to render other management measures meaningless.
  • Threaten the law’s proven management measures and its strong accountability requirements—including the requirement to use science-based fishing catch limits.
  • Threaten the scientific integrity of the stock assessment process.

Congress should focus on legislation that builds upon the Magnuson-Stevens Act’s success and strengthens it to meet the new challenges our oceans and fisheries face. H.R. 200 is the wrong approach. Please oppose it now.

Thank you.

Additional talking points for H.R. 200:

  • H.R. 200 contains provisions that would:
    • Roll back the law’s successful rebuilding requirements, including by establishing broad loopholes that effectively remove reasonable time limits and allowing short-term economic concerns to trump the long-term economic and ecological health of the nation’s fish and fisheries.
    • Allow economics to factor into setting catch limits.
    • Extend state management into federal waters and exempt the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery from accountability when it exceeds catch limits.
    • Broaden the categories of data deemed to be “best available science” to include information provided by sources untrained in scientific survey methods and data gathering.
  • Strong fishing communities depend on healthy fisheries. Anything that undermines conservation provisions or promotes greater uncertainty in fisheries management jeopardizes the livelihoods of fishermen, seafood business owners, and coastal communities throughout the country.

 

  • To keep the Magnuson-Stevens Act strong, Congress must:
    • Maintain and defend the Magnuson-Stevens Act’s conservation requirements and strong science-based management;
    • Promote policies that support and strengthen our nation’s working waterfronts and community-based fishermen;
    • Transition to a more comprehensive fisheries management system that protects marine ecosystems; and
    • Strengthen assessment, monitoring, and enforcement mechanisms for implementing the law.
  • Congress has a history of passing bipartisan legislation that strengthens the Magnuson-Stevens Act’s science-based conservation principles, which keep our oceans and fisheries healthy and productive.
    • Anglers calls upon the House of Representatives to keep this tradition alive by voting against H.R. 200.

Webinar Driftboating and bank fishing the Wilson River with Pro Guide Bob Rees January 20th

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