The Alaska Marine Conservation Council welcomes the introduction of a draft reauthorization of America's fisheries management and conservation law — the Magnuson Stevens Act. We extend a sincere thank you to Representative Huffman for his leadership in connecting with diverse stakeholders across the nation and for advancing key updates within the law — incorporating an ongoing high standard of science-based management, evolving impacts of climate change, and important issues of indigenous representation on management bodies.
Within MSA and other legislation, AMCC supports conservation solutions that address the interdependence between healthy marine ecosystems, strong local economies and coastal traditions, partially addressed in this bill through a focus on climate considerations and working waterfronts. We strongly support the draft's inclusion of two designated tribal seats on the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council. This is a crucial step to restoring equity in representation for Alaskans, and makes progress toward recognizing millennia of Alaska Native leadership in the harvest and stewarding of the North Pacific's rich marine resources.
In addition, AMCC appreciates and supports the amended language focused on reducing fishery bycatch. Bycatch impacts the ecological well-being of the marine environment and other user groups dependent on the bycaught species. The removal of the language ‘to the extent practicable’ provides a strengthened directive to reduce bycatch.
AMCC supports advancements to promote the long-term health of the nation’s fisheries and fishing communities with many vital management updates and inclusion of climate-ready fisheries language. By strengthening the well-being of coastal communities and responsible resource management we can ensure that our oceans and the people that rely on them can thrive for generations to come.
Stay up-to-date on progress of the Sustaining America's Fisheries for the Future Act by signing up for AMCC's email newsletter, and read more now with the resources below.
· Text of the bill can be found here.
· A one-pager of the bill can be found here.
· A section by section of the bill can be found here.
· A summary of differences between the bill and the discussion draft can be found here.
· Redline edits to the MSA, as proposed by the bill, can be found here.