On Wednesday, the U.S House of Representatives passed H.R. 200, a reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs John Calvelli released the following statement:

“Since 1976, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and measures added in its 1996 and 2006 reauthorizations, have been a cornerstone of US ocean conservation. It has led to improved management of U.S. fisheries, stemmed overfishing and spurred the recovery of dozens of overfished species, and maintained the U.S. as a global leader in fisheries management and conservation. At the same time, this has led to a more reliable ocean economy, more abundant marine wildlife and healthier ecosystems.

“The foundation for this success is science-based management. We fear that any weakening of this approach through many of the changes proposed in H.R. 200, the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act, would walk back much of the progress made thus far. It would undermine science-based management and peer review and create significant exceptions to effective regulations that have successfully reduced overfishing and rebuilt a number of overfished populations. 

“We need to maintain a bipartisan approach to sustainable fisheries that maintains the existing law’s reliance on solid science as a basis for management.”