WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Natural Resources Committee today passed legislation introduced by Alaskan Congressman Don Young to strengthen and reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the primary law governing fisheries resources and fishing activities in United States. H.R. 1335, the “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act, aims to improve federal fishery management in order to give Regional Fishery Management Councils the proper tools and flexibility necessary to effectively manage their fisheries.
Alaskan Congressman Don Young released the following statement upon passage of H.R. 1335 in Committee:
“H.R. 1335 reflects more than 4 years of work with fisheries managers, and stakeholders across the nation. 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. I look forward to building upon the many successes of the MSA, which has always recognized our nation’s different ocean conditions, harvesting methods, management techniques, and distinct community impacts.”
Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT), Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, also commented:
“Our nation’s fisheries are vital economic drivers and job creators for coastal states and beyond. These reforms to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act secure the vitality of these communities by increasing the flexibility for councils and local stakeholders to manage their fisheries, strengthening the science in data collection, and enhance transparency for our fishing industries and the communities they support. I look forward to working with Rep. Young and colleagues on both sides of the aisle and from all regions of the country to advance this important legislation.”
Today’s markup included the adoption of three amendments, including one introduced by Congressman Young which would:
- Provide for a Community Development Quote (CDQ) equaling 10 percent of the fishery, if fishing in the Arctic is approved by the North Pacific Council through a Fishery Management Plan;
- Require Management Councils to take NEPA actions in the Fishery Impact Statement and deem those actions NEPA compliant. The Secretary of Commerce would maintain responsibility for ensuring the provisions are met.
Prior to the House Natural Resources markup, Congressman Don Young shared the following message:
Congressman Young shares his thoughts on H.R. 1335 prior to Committee markup (click here to watch).
Background: H.R. 1335 is nearly identical to H.R. 4247, which the House Natural Resources Committee passed in the 113th Congress on May 29, 2014 following 10 oversight and legislative hearings. The bill includes several amendments approved at the 2014 markup.
For more details and video of the Committee markup, click here.
For more details on H.R. 1335, click here.