Get active and tell your representatives and senators in Congress to support the Fishery Science Improvement Act.
Its passage should help clean up the mess that NOAA has our saltwater fisheries in today because of its tunnel-vision enforcement of the reauthorized Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
That reauthorization was well intended, with a goal of ending overfishing by 2011. But achieving that goal was predicated on the assumption that NOAA would make decisions based on up-to-date and accurate stock assessments and that it would improve catch data to better anticipate potential problems in a given fishery.
Instead, NOAA has shut down fisheries with what appears to be little justification, simply to meet the 2011 goal.
The Fishery Science Improvement Act, to be introduced next week by Rep. Rob Wittman, provides NOAA with the time and direction to properly implement the 2006 Reauthorization of the Magnuson Stevens Act.
“Without Congressional action, arbitrary decisions affecting millions of anglers and thousands of businesses will continue to be made, and I can’t let that happen to my constituents on the coast of Virginia nor should anyone in this Congress who cares about our nation’s marine resources or the millions of American’s who use those resources and depend on them for jobs and recreation,” said Wittman.
“The requirements outlined in the 2006 reauthorization are on the horizon and yet the science has not been established to accurately assess fish populations,” said Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida.
“Science is the only way we can solve this, and Rep. Wittman’s bill will provide the agency with the time and direction to properly address adequate scientific data. I am glad to join on as an original co-sponsor, and I will encourage fellow members of the (Congressional Sportmen’s) Caucus to sign as co-sponsors.”
Check out the full story at the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation website.