Rep. Huffman Travels Coast to Coast to Receive Input on Fisheries Policy

November 25, 2019

San Rafael, CA – Over the past week, Representative Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), Chair of the Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee, traveled across the country to complete the third and fourth stops on his nationwide listening tour on federal fisheries policy. These events are designed to engage diverse perspectives, interests, and needs of individuals who have a stake in the management of ocean and fisheries resources.

During the listening sessions in Baltimore and Seattle, Representative Huffman heard from industry stakeholders, advocates, scientists, and members of the public, who gave feedback on the current state of fisheries management under the Magnuson-Stevens Act and what they hope to see in future federal fisheries policy.

“Each stop on this tour has shown me that while there are varying issues and perspectives in each region, there are also common threads that tie us together. The Magnuson-Stevens Act has made the U.S. a leader in sustainable fisheries, but there may be room to look forward and address future challenges for coastal communities and the fishing industry,” said Rep. Huffman. “Hearing from stakeholders and experts on both coasts has been an incredibly valuable and informative endeavor and given me ideas to consider in a reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.  I look forward to picking back up early next year.”

“By crisscrossing the country, Chairman Huffman is showing his true commitment to listening to all points-of-view about our nation’s valuable ocean resources. This fourth listening session, as with the previous three in California and Maryland, produced a thoughtful and well-rounded discussion on the future of federal fisheries policy with the people who have day-to-day investments in healthy and abundant fish populations,” said Robert C. Vandermark, executive director of the Marine Fish Conservation Network. “We continue to support Chairman Huffman’s efforts to spend time outside the DC beltway listening to the experience and knowledge of those in our coastal communities and working waterfronts.”

Rep. Huffman’s goal for this listening tour is to assess whether improvements to the Magnuson-Stevens Act are needed and if so, what they should be. More information, a public comment page, and the full press release for this tour can be found on our website here.

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (also referred to as the Magnuson-Stevens Act or MSA) is the primary law governing the management and conservation of commercial fisheries in federal waters.

The MSA was last reauthorized and extensively amended in 2006 (P.L. 109-479). Although the authorization of appropriations expired at the end of Fiscal Year 2013, the law’s requirements remain in effect and Congress has continued to appropriate funds to administer the act.

Videos from the listening sessions can be accessed through Representative Huffman’s Facebook page here.