RE: Sea Port’s view on HR 1335 and a suggestion for modernizing the Magnuson-Stevens Act for the 21st century
HR 1335: Sea Port has concerns that the tone, in a portion of this bill, in regards to adding flexibility in dealing with negative socioeconomic impacts to fishing communities does not resonate with the principles contained within National Standard 1, which we believe, is the cornerstone of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
Sea Port believes that the MSA has become a resounding success because the focus has been on improving the health of the fish stocks and that this success was made possible by the application of best fishery science practices that were free from the constraints of non-scientific flexibility schemes and undue political influences designed to prop up fishing communities.
This late Senator Stevens quote from a 2000 subcommittee hearing on oceans and fisheries can serve as a seminal reminder for us today that we must continue to keep our focus on protecting the fish stocks from which we know all good catches flow: “I do think that it’s incumbent upon the people in the fishery, without regard to whether you’re historical or not, to protect the species. …….I just wish I’d hear a little bit more about protecting the species rather than protecting the heritage of the fishermen.”
Sea Port believes that the following quote by Dr. Bill Hogarth, former NOAA assistant administrator for fisheries, serves to highlight Magnuson-Stevens’ success that was achieved by keeping true to the overriding principles in National Standard 1: “Based on the actions of the fishery management councils, it appears that the U.S. has fundamentally ended overfishing in federally-managed domestic fisheries. This is an enormous achievement, and one that, Congress and the Administration clearly intended in its 2007 reauthorization of [the MSA]….The Magnuson-Stevens Act is without doubt the premier fisheries law in the world.”
Please stay on the successful course of the MSA by continuing to safeguard National Standard 1’s immunity from being trumped by socioeconomic or political pressures.
Modernizing the MSA for the 21st century by creating “National Standard 11 – Aquaculture”
Sea Port believes that this Congress and Administration should boldly seize the opportunity to modernize Magnuson-Stevens by codifying the importance of aquaculture within the MSA list of National Standard principles by adding a new “National Standard 11 – Aquaculture”. We must face the reality that aquaculture provides nearly 70% of America’s most commonly consumed seafood, wild harvest levels are essentially maxed out, and as our world population explodes to nearly 10 billion by 2050, the additional protein needed will predominantly come from aquaculture. Aquaculture will become super critical for our national food security.
We believe future generations will look back and thank you for your foresight in recognizing the need to establish a new “National Standard 11 – Aquaculture” and how it paved the way for our wild fishery stocks and aquaculture to harmoniously and sustainably provide us with one of the most healthy food proteins on the planet!
Please go make bipartisan history and thank you for your consideration of Sea Port’s perspectives.
David Glaubke, Director of Sustainability Initiatives
Sea Port Products Corp.