Washington, D.C. – This week, on the opening day of the 117th Congress, Congressman Don Young (R-AK) introduced the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act. This legislation reauthorizes the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery and Conservation Management Act – landmark fisheries management and conservation legislation first written by Congressman Young in 1975. The Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) was last reauthorized in 2006.
“Alaska’s seafood industry is one of the primary drivers of our state economy, and for over forty years, the Magnuson-Stevens Act has allowed our fishermen, processors, and coastal communities to thrive,” said Congressman Young. “In 1976, I was proud to fight for our Nation’s fishermen alongside my dear friend Rep. Gerry Studds (D-MA) as we first drafted this bipartisan legislation, and I am proud to continue the fight. As the nature of our ecosystem and fishing industry changes, we must ensure our laws are updated to keep pace in an evolving world. COVID-19 has impacted Alaska’s fishermen and processors, and we need to help them bounce back from this public health crisis. One crucial way of securing economic opportunity is to manage our fisheries sustainably, so that our fishermen have product to bring to market in the first place. I am pleased to work with industry leaders, and stakeholders in Alaska and throughout the country to update this important law. Future generations must have access to our ocean’s renewable resources. Simply put, sustainability is not a partisan issue – Alaskans know that more than anyone else. This reauthorization takes important steps to protect one of our most important renewable resources, and ensures that generations of fishermen to come can earn a living by putting sustainable seafood on the tables of families across the country. I will be working diligently to earn bipartisan support for our reauthorization so that it gets across the finish line and is signed into law.”
“Congressman Young has always fought for Alaska’s fishing industry in Washington, D.C., and he knows first-hand how important sustainable fisheries are to our state,” said Clay Koplin, Mayor of Cordova, Alaska. “I am very pleased that he has introduced legislation to reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which has had an incredibly positive impact on Alaska for over 40 years. Commercial fishing has a significant footprint here in Cordova, and this bill will help Alaska continue to be a model for the nation on sustainable seafood practices. I am very grateful for Congressman Young’s long-time leadership on this vital issue. For the sake of fishermen in Alaska and across the country, I call on Congress to help us get the job done by taking up Congressman Young’s MSA reauthorization bill.”
“Our business, and the livelihoods of seafood companies across the country, depend on sustainable fisheries. For decades, the Magnuson-Stevens Act has helped keep fish stocks healthy so that our business can get Alaskan seafood on dinner tables across the country,” said Scott Blake, CEO of Copper River Seafoods. “Our employees and fishermen make a living by braving Alaska’s rough waters, and they deserve the certainty that properly managed fisheries can provide. I want to thank Congressman Young for standing up on behalf of Alaska’s fishermen and processors. It is my great hope that Magnuson-Stevens can get reauthorized and continue ensuring a bright future for Alaska’s fisheries for years to come.”
“We sincerely appreciate the leadership of Congressman Young to continue the discussion on ways to improve the Magnuson-Stevens Act,” said Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation President Jeff Crane. “While the 2018 Modern Fish Act was a good step forward for the recreational angling community, there are still opportunities to improve both the management process and access to our marine fisheries resources.”