Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young today shared the following statement in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Magnuson-Stevens Act:
Congressman Don Young, Senator Ted Stevens, and Governor Jay Hammond discussing the 200-mile U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in October of 1975.
“Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, an act that “Americanized” our fisheries and created wealth and certainty for our coastal communities and state. As many may know, it was our Alaskan fishermen that spearheaded these efforts – calling upon Congress to develop reforms that protected Alaska’s fisheries resources and pushed foreign fleets off our shores – a fight Senator Stevens and I gladly took on.”
“As one of the original authors of the Act, alongside Senator Stevens and a bipartisan partnership in the House and Senate, I’m proud to see the many successes under this law – which has allowed our fisheries to flourish, our coastal communities to succeed, and our state to build the strongest and most sustainable fisheries in the world. Because of the tremendous strides made in the MSA, Alaska is considered the gold standard of fisheries management – home to 11 of the nation’s top 20 most value fishing ports; accounting for more than 60 percent of the nation’s seafood.
“As a tireless advocate of our fisheries, I am honored to continue the fight of Senator Stevens and countless others as we work to reauthorize the MSA in Congress. I remain committed to ensuring our fisheries and the people that support it are best protected by balancing the biological needs of our fish stocks and the economic needs of our fishermen and coastal communities.”
As a senior member of the House Natural Resources Committee and original coauthor of the 1976 MSA, Congressman Young was chosen by Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) in the 114th Congress to lead efforts to reauthorize the MSA.
On June 1, 2015, the House passed H.R. 1335, the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act (introduced by Congressman Young), which represents more than four years of work by Young and the House Natural Resources Committee to update the premier law government commercial and recreation fishing in U.S. federal waters.