U.S. Regional Councils Call for Removal of Fishing Restrictions in Marine National Monuments

WASHINGTON, DC / ACCESSWIRE / June 5, 2020 / In a letter to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross last week, the nation’s eight regional fishery management councils reiterated their recommendation that President Trump restore management of fishing throughout U.S. federal waters, including Marine National Monument waters, to the councils as implemented by the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

In the letter, the councils wrote, “The ban on commercial fishing within Marine National Monument waters is a regulatory burden on domestic fisheries, requiring many of the affected American fishermen to travel outside U.S. waters with increased operational expenses and higher safety-at-sea risks.” They further wrote, “Marine National Monument designations in their present form hinder the Councils’ ability to sustainably manage fisheries throughout their range, and they restrict the Councils and the National Marine Fisheries Service from acquiring invaluable knowledge about the stocks and the marine ecosystem made available through catch-and-effort and observer data.”

The letter also reiterated previous council letters from 2017 and 2016, and the councils’ 2016 Outcomes Statement and Recommendations, calling for fisheries management in all U.S. federal waters to be conducted through the public process of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

In 2017, the councils wrote, “Designations of marine national monuments that prohibit fishing activities-especially those that did not receive adequate economic and social impact review and did not allow for a robust public review process-have disrupted the ability of the Councils to manage fisheries throughout their range as required by MSA and in an ecosystem-based manner.”

In its 2016 letter, the councils wrote, “We believe fisheries management decisions should be made using the robust process established by the MSA and successfully used for over forty years.”

Last week’s letter was the result of a Council Coordination Committee meeting that brought together leaders of the nation’s eight regional councils by videoconference for the first of their biannual meetings.

Read the full letter here

Robert Vanasse
Saving Seafood
(202) 333-2628

SOURCE: Saving Seafood

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