Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United, Inc.

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Report Reveals Historic Success in Federal Fisheries Management

Posted by Mscfuwebs@gmail.com on May 22, 2018 at 1:15 PM

NOOA Recently Removed Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper From the Overfished List

You can read all about Red Snapper in this quarter's issue of Water Log- published by the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium Law Program here: http://masglp.olemiss.edu/waterlog/index.html

Red Sanpper's rebound can be attributed to the success of the Magnuson-Stevenson Fishery Management and Conservation Act. Read what Gulf Restoration Network's chef advocate Kendall Dix had to say about federal fisheries management:

New Orleans, LA – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its Status of Stocks 2017 report on the state of fisheries in the U.S. to Congress on Thursday. The report, which can be found online here, revealed that the number of overfished stocks hit a record low. Congress is currently considering two bills that would weaken protections under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the primary law managing federal fisheries.

“NOAA’s latest Status of Stocks 2017 report again highlights the successes of the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA), the foundation of our nation’s fisheries,” said Kendall Dix, fisheries associate for Gulf Restoration Network. “We applaud the work of all of the state and federal officials, scientists, and individual stakeholders who compose the eight regional fishery management councils.”

Forty-four stocks have now been rebuilt and a record low number of stocks are being overfished--a reversal of the trend of stock declines prior to the 1996 reauthorization of MSA. The economic impacts of U.S. fisheries have continued to grow since the 2006 MSA reauthorization and show that the law is working.

Fishers and chefs both lauded the announcement. Ryan Bradley, director of Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United, Inc., said, “There is no doubt that the Magnuson-Stevens Act has played a pivotal role in reducing the number of overfished fish stocks in the United States. Strict adherence to total allowable catch rates while also seeking optimum yield is a delicate balancing act that has granted our nation the ability to fully utilize our marine resources while also ensuring the sustainability of the fisheries for generations to come.”

Ben Tabor, chef and owner of Sneaky Pickle in New Orleans, LA, welcomed what he said was a rare case of good news. “I own a small restaurant, so I rely on quality over quantity. Quality fish come from healthy oceans. And healthy oceans come from sound science-based management like what we have under the Magnuson-Stevens Act,” he said.

Despite the successes achieved under MSA, two bills making their way through Congress seek to rollback key science-based provisions of the act. Both H.R. 200 (the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act) and S. 1520 (the Modern Fish Act) attempt to subvert fisheries management tools that have been proven to work for years now.

“The tenets of the MSA are deeply rooted in science and accountability that depend on all user groups to be accountable for every fish pulled from the ocean. This is why we as commercial fishermen are glad to report our catch so that we can ensure our proud seafood heritage continues on with healthy fisheries well into the future,” Bradley reiterated.

Currently, that future is uncertain.

“While the addition of six stocks to the overfishing list shows that we have work to do, the MSA reauthorization bills as they are written would only make matters worse,” Dix said. “We need a bipartisan approach that builds upon what we already have. Ignoring science and risking a return to the dark days of overfishing is anything but modern.”

To view the full NOAA report, go https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/feature-story/status-stocks-2017?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">here

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