Rep. Don Young’s WOW Subcommittee Hearing Opening Statement. Video-Rep.Young/YouTube
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tuesday, Alaska Congressman Don Young served as Ranking Member at a legislative hearing of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife. Congressman Young’s Magnuson–Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) reauthorization bill (H.R. 59) received a hearing alongside Subcommittee Chairman Jared Huffman’s (D-CA) own MSA reauthorization bill. During the hearing, Congressman Bruce Westerman (R-AR), Ranking Member of the full Natural Resources Committee, spoke in support of Congressman Young’s long-time leadership on this issue.
“Alaska’s seafood industry is one of the primary drivers of our economy, and for over forty years, the Magnuson-Stevens Act has allowed our fishermen, processors, and coastal communities to thrive. It has also assisted in the preservation of subsistence and recreational fishing, which are both essential to our state’s way of life,” said Congressman Don Young. “In 1976, I was proud to fight for our Nation’s fishermen alongside my dear friend, Congressman Gerry Studds (D-MA) as we first drafted this bipartisan legislation, and I am proud to continue defending this bill in Congress. The truth is MSA has worked and worked well. As with any law, it is wise to ensure policies keep pace with changing times. While I believe some changes merit discussion, I do not believe in throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Today’s hearing was one of contrasts. While I respect my colleague, Congressman Huffman (D-CA), our two MSA reauthorization bills have some very significant differences. I trust our fishing councils to make the best decisions for commercial, sport, recreational, and subsistence fishing. However, as written, Mr. Huffman’s bill has the potential to take power away from the councils and hand it over to the Secretary of Commerce; that would be very harmful to Alaska. I want to thank him for the opportunity to help lead today’s hearing, and will continue working with him in good faith to move a consensus-based MSA reauthorization bill to the House Floor. Additionally, I am grateful to my friend, Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-AR), for speaking in support of my efforts at today’s hearing. I also want to thank Mr. Shannon Carroll of Trident Seafoods, and Ms. Mary Peltola of the Kuskokwim River Inter Tribal Fish Commission for representing Alaskan voices at the hearing.”
To read more about Congressman Young’s MSA reauthorization bill, which was introduced in January 2021, click here.