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house Bill H.R. 1335

Eliminating a 10-Year Timeline to Rebuild Fisheries, and More Flexibility for Fishery Management Councils

Argument in favor

Letting the Fisheries Management Councils develop a regional plan to manage fisheries that takes into account local fish populations and ecosystems is as common sense as it gets. This will help fishing communities survive and prosper.

EricRevell's Opinion
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05/22/2015
Regional councils know local fisheries better than DC bureaucrats, and they have an obvious interest in keeping fisheries sustainable.
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05/25/2015
We need to eliminate micro-management for something as vital as fish.
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06/03/2015
As long as fisheries are having the care and consideration to be rebuilt properly, this bill is a small long term investment to better help support economic climate in U.S. Fishing regions. The money generated from this can help private areas better their environment and local citizens. However the opposite can happen if not enough time is passed and fisheries are rushed back into operation. The government would lose money as well as the dependent areas. So we just have to make sure our councils understands the importance to healthy rehabilitation to the ecosystems. Before re-opening shop.
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Argument opposed

Giving up authority to regional management councils will lead to overfishing. Taking away the 10-year standard for rebuilding depleted fisheries — in favor of a "biology-based approach" — is shortsighted and bad for fish ecosystems.

ThomasParker's Opinion
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06/03/2015
Passing this bill would also renew some federal regulations on fishing irrespective of the ones highlighted in this summary. The federal government cannot effectively manage the mail, let alone the fish population. Leave it to the private sector--they are the ones who seek to profit off fishing, thus require it to be renewable.
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David's Opinion
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06/02/2015
And, insist that foreign governments also comply.
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Michael777's Opinion
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07/12/2018
This bill would lead to more overfishing, which would harm our future environment. Allow fish populations some room to prosper and reproduce.
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What is House Bill H.R. 1335?

This bill would reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Act — the primary law governing how fisheries are managed and general fishing activities in federal waters. The original Magnuson-Stevens Act created eight Regional Fishery Management Councils. This reauthorization aims to offer more resources and flexibility to Councils for managing their fisheries.

Under current law, overfished and depleted fisheries are required to rebuild over a 10-year timeframe where no fishing takes place. This bill would replace that requirement with a timeframe that considers the time needed to restore fish populations, plus one mean generation — basically a fish's lifespan. The rebuilding period would be as short as practicable given the biology of the fishery.

Councils could phase-in rebuilding plans for dynamic fisheries over a three-year period to lessen the harm to fishing communities, and could consider environmental conditions and predator/prey relationships when developing rebuilding plans.

When setting up Annual Catch Limits (ACLs), Councils would be directed to consider changes in the fishery’s ecosystem and the economic needs of the fishing communities — giving them flexibility without setting ACLs at a level allowing overfishing. Fish that are accidentally caught and are unlikely to be overfished would not need to have an ACL set for them, and fish with a life cycle shorter than 18 months would also not require an ACL as long as the mortality won’t impact the fishery.

Impact

People employed in the fishing industry or who live in fishing communities, people who eat fish, state fishing agencies, Regional Fishery Management Councils, NOAA, the Secretary of Commerce.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1335

$1.50 Billion
The CBO estimates that implementing this bill would cost $1.5 billion over the 2016-2020 period, which is $300 million per year, and $72 million after 2020.

More Information

In-Depth: The Magnuson-Stevens Act was originally passed in 1976, and went through a series of revisions when it was reauthorized in 1996 with the Sustainable Fisheries Act, and in 2006 when it underwent another reauthorization.

This bill was passed by the House Committee on Natural Resources on a 21-14 vote, and after it proceeded from committee the bill’s sponsor Rep. Don Young (R-AK) noted

“Through a number of modest but necessary reforms, this legislation ensures the needs of our fisheries resources are balanced with the needs of our fishermen and coastal communities. By reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens Act, we allow for this important law to more closely reflect the current science, management techniques and knowledge of our fishermen and regional management councils.”

A nearly identical version of this bill was passed by the Committee in May 2014 on a vote of 24-17, but it did not receive a vote from the full House before the 113th Congress ended.

Other Provisions of this Bill Include:

The public would have more chances to give input into the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committees reporting process, and each Council would have to offer live audio or video of Council meetings.

The Secretary of Commerce would be required to establish partnerships with states to develop state recreational fishing data. Grant awards to states would improve the implementation of state data programs, and would be prioritized based on the state’s ability to improve the quality and accuracy of the data collection programs. The Secretary would also enter into an agreement with the National Research Council to assess regional survey methods, and examine the limitations of NOAA’s current data collection programs.

Of Note: In 2012, commercial fishermen in the U.S. harvested 9.6 billion pounds of finfish and shellfish, earning $5.1 billion for their catch while sustaining 1.3 million full- and part-time jobs. The most lucrative catches were sea scallops at $559 million, shrimp at $490 million, Pacific salmon at $489 million, and American lobster at $429 million.


Media:

Summary by: Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user blmoregon)

AKA

Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act

Official Title

To amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to provide flexibility for fishery managers and stability for fishermen, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
  • The house Passed June 1st, 2015
    Roll Call Vote 225 Yea / 152 Nay
      house Committees
      Water, Oceans, and Wildlife
      Committee on Natural Resources
    IntroducedMarch 4th, 2015

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    Regional councils know local fisheries better than DC bureaucrats, and they have an obvious interest in keeping fisheries sustainable.
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    Passing this bill would also renew some federal regulations on fishing irrespective of the ones highlighted in this summary. The federal government cannot effectively manage the mail, let alone the fish population. Leave it to the private sector--they are the ones who seek to profit off fishing, thus require it to be renewable.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    We need to eliminate micro-management for something as vital as fish.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    As long as fisheries are having the care and consideration to be rebuilt properly, this bill is a small long term investment to better help support economic climate in U.S. Fishing regions. The money generated from this can help private areas better their environment and local citizens. However the opposite can happen if not enough time is passed and fisheries are rushed back into operation. The government would lose money as well as the dependent areas. So we just have to make sure our councils understands the importance to healthy rehabilitation to the ecosystems. Before re-opening shop.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Allowing regions to work this out rather than having DC decide everything is going to lead to better results. Local communities will know the needs of their environment better than a one-size fits all law.
    Like (3)
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    Giving this to regional fishery management makes sense since they would have more information and are more specialized so they will be able to come up with the best solutions. Its common sense to pass this legislation.
    Like (3)
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    This bill would lead to more overfishing, which would harm our future environment. Allow fish populations some room to prosper and reproduce.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    And, insist that foreign governments also comply.
    Like (2)
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    Let nature take its course on this one
    Like (1)
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    We already have way too much micro management from DC. Let those, especially in this case, deal with their needs and finances in effective and efficient methods. Big governe,
    Like (1)
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    This type of thing should be kept at a local level
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    Over fishing will lead to many species to become extinct or very hard to come by. It can also disrupt the entire balance of ocean life.
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    I support this bill because it resorts to subsidiarity by devolving power to local regulators, to those who know the industry the best.
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    Look at some of the conditions imported fish are raised in and you might not eat anymore fish so it makes good sense to ensure out home raised fish are doing what is right.
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    Long term sustainability is important to the fishing industry's survival. Allowing regional management leaves too much opportunity for greed that leads to irreversible depletion.
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    The real focus should be on ending and preventing the circumstances that currently are endangering the fish so that there is no need for fisheries to exist at all. Fish raised in fisheries are not as suitable for life in the wild after being released as those naturally breed. They do not have the same defenses and in terms of survival of the fittest the fishery fish usually lose. Yes we need to regrow these populations but continuing dependence on fisheries is not a sustainable way to do so.
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    This doesn't sound like good resource management to me... It sounds like a recipe for overfishing. Commercial fisherman aren't biologists. Their goal is to maximize profits like any business, and they will continue to do so until the the resource is so scarce, it's no longer profitable
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    We tried it before...that's why they need to rebuild fisheries now isn't it?
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    We've already over fished thrift
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    For many communities fishing is a vital part of their economy. Over fishing would destroy their already fragile environment and economy.
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