CAPITOL HILL OCEAN WEEK: CONGRESS MUST DEFEND SCIENCE-BASED FISHERIES MANAGEMENT

CAPITOL HILL OCEAN WEEK: CONGRESS MUST DEFEND SCIENCE-BASED FISHERIES MANAGEMENT

Fishing Communities Coalition to Policymakers: Magnuson-Stevens Act is Working

Washington, DC – During Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2018, members of the Fishing Communities Coalition (FCC) are urging lawmakers in Washington to defend science-based fisheries management under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, which has demonstrated remarkable success in rebuilding once badly depleted fish stocks in U.S. waters.

Last month, NOAA Fisheries reported that the number of fish on the overfished list reached an all-time low in 2017. Additionally, three new fish stocks were rebuilt in 2017, bringing the total number of rebuilt stocks since 2000 to 44.

“This latest report reaffirms that the Magnuson-Stevens Act is working,” said John Pappalardo, FCC President and CEO of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance. “But there is much work to do, and reversing course would be a grave mistake. Congress must continue to invest in fisheries science to ensure we have the data on which to base important management decisions and resist shortsighted efforts to undermine key Magnuson-Stevens Act accountability provisions.” 

“Science-based fisheries management is common sense, and it works,” said Captain Bubba Cochrane, President of the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance. “By sticking to the core principles of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, we will ensure a brighter future for all those working to supply America with locally harvested, sustainable seafood.”

The Fishing Communities Coalition’s seven member organizations represent over 1,000 fishermen from Maine, Cape Cod, the Gulf of Mexico, California, and Alaska.  

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THE YOUNG FISHERMEN'S DEVELOPMENT ACT

THE YOUNG FISHERMEN'S DEVELOPMENT ACT

Young men and women looking to start a career in commercial fishing are faced with daunting challenges, including high cost of entry, financial risks and limited entry-level opportunities.

These videos featuring the stories of young fishermen highlight the importance of the Young Fishermen’s Development Act (H.R. 2079, S.1323). This bipartisan bill would break down barriers to entry and empower the next generation of commercial fishermen, who are critical to the future of America's fishing communities.


A Future on the Water

Fishing Communities Coalition

“The cost of entering the fisheries has really gone up with so many of the fisheries requiring permits, requiring more expensive machinery, more expensive boats than it used to take to get on the water.”


Hard Tellin’ with Lexie Saxton: Lobsterman

Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association

“I’ve learned that you’ve got to appreciate what you’re doing, and you’ve got to pay for a lot of things.”

 Fishing Families

 Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen's Alliance

“The Young Fishermen’s Development Act puts money back into young fishermen taking classes to learn more about everything from navigation to electronics to the financial part of buying permits. It’s just hard to learn that stuff on the boat -- if I could sit down in classroom and learn, it would be very beneficial.”   


Mentorship

The Alaska Marine Conservation Council

“The most important thing a young person can do is seek out a mentor … that experience will help guide you throughout your fishing career.”

MORRO BAY COMMUNITY QUOTA FUND JOINS FISHING COMMUNITIES COALITION

MORRO BAY COMMUNITY QUOTA FUND JOINS FISHING COMMUNITIES COALITION

Coalition Grows its Ranks as Community Fishermen Ramp Up Efforts to Defend Sustainable Fisheries and Support Next Generation of Fishermen

Washington, DC – The Fishing Communities Coalition (FCC) welcomed its newest member this week, as the Morro Bay Community Quota Fund - located on California’s Central Coast - joined the nation’s leading association of sustainability-minded, small-boat commercial fishing organizations. 

The announcement comes as Congress weighs reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) and the Young Fishermen’s Development Act, both top FCC priorities. 

“At this critical moment, we are very pleased to welcome the Morro Bay Community Quota Fund to our growing coalition of sustainability-minded commercial fishing groups from across the country,” said John Pappalardo, FCC President and CEO of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance. “We look forward to working with our new partner to defend accountability under the MSA and secure passage of the Young Fishermen’s Development Act.”

“The Morro Bay Community Quota Fund strongly supports the FCC’s mission of advancing the economic and environmental performance of America’s small-boat fishing communities,” said Dwayne Oberhoff, Executive Director of the Morro Bay Community Quota Fund. “We are very pleased to join this important effort to advance conservation-minded solutions to local, regional and national fisheries management issues.”

With the addition of the Morro Bay Community Quota Fund, the FCC now has seven member organizations representing over 1,000 fishermen from Maine, Cape Cod, the Gulf of Mexico, California, and Alaska. 

ALASKA COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN ADVOCATE FOR YOUNG FISHERMEN, SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES MANAGEMENT ON CAPITOL HILL

ALASKA COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN ADVOCATE FOR YOUNG FISHERMEN, SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES MANAGEMENT ON CAPITOL HILL

Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association & Alaska Marine Conservation Council
Urge Alaska Lawmakers to Protect Magnuson-Stevens Act

Washington, DC – Representatives of the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association and the Alaska Marine Conservation Council – both members of the national Fishing Communities Coalition (FCC) – were in Washington, DC, this week urging lawmakers to resist shortsighted efforts to weaken fishing communities by undermining key Magnuson-Stevens Act accountability provisions.   

In meetings with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. Dan Sullivan, Rep. Don Young, NOAA fisheries, and others, members of both organizations underscored that Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) reauthorization legislation will only strengthen fishing communities if Congress recommits to science-based Annual Catch Limits across all sectors and strengthens other key stewardship provisions within the Act

“Alaska’s small-boat commercial fishermen are proud to sustainably harvest seafood enjoyed in restaurants and homes across America,” said Linda Behnken of the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association (ALFA). “The future of Alaska’s fishing communities depends on healthy fish stocks and sustained access by coastal residents to productive commercial fisheries.”  

“The MSA is working in Alaska and around the country because all sectors adhere to scientifically-sound annual catch limits. Reauthorization will only provide a bright future for our nation’s young fishermen if all sectors—commercial and recreational—recommit to sustainable harvest through improved stock assessment, better catch accounting, and strict adherence to annual catch limits,” continued Behnken. 

“Eliminating accountability for recreational catch will lead to over harvest and reductions in quotas that hurt all fishermen,” said Shannon Carroll, Deputy Director of the Alaska Marine Conservation Council (AMCC). “To secure our fishing future, it is critical that Congress clearly apply accountability standards, including annual catch limits, to all sectors.”

ALFA and AMCC representatives also thanked the Alaska congressional delegation for its leadership on the Young Fishermen’s Development Act, and urged them to ensure the bipartisan initiative to support the next generation of commercial fishermen is signed into law.  

Both ALFA and AMCC are engaged in efforts to address the “graying of the fleet” in Alaska by attracting younger entrants into the fishing industry through training and apprenticeship initiatives. The Young Fishermen’s Development Act would give fishing communities a needed boost at the national level by addressing steep and growing obstacles – including high cost of entry and limited entry-level opportunities – facing the next generation of America’s commercial fishermen.