Jim Wintering, Communications Coordinator
Telephone: (202) 280-6232
Washington, DC: In response to the House Natural Resource Committee’s oversight hearing on “The Management of Red Snapper in the Gulf of Mexico under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act,” Ocean Conservancy’s Associate Director of Government Relations Ellen Bolen issued the following statement:
“There’s good news for our nation’s fisheries – the Magnuson-Stevens Act is working. Our nation is seeing unprecedented progress in ending overfishing and rebuilding depleted fisheries. Gulf of Mexico red snapper exemplifies this success.
“The results from the recently completed red snapper stock assessment clearly demonstrate that science-based catch limits work, as the population is rebuilding and can now sustainably support catch levels higher than any we’ve seen over the past 20 years. Now, Congress needs to allow the Magnuson-Stevens Act to continue to work, as continued efforts to rebuild and secure vibrant, sustainable and productive fisheries will help restore the Gulf region's environmental and economic health.
“As Congress reviews this progress and the challenges associated with finding the balance between catching the fish we need and want for food and recreation, while still preserving enough to ensure great fishing at sustainable rates into the future, it’s important to note that the Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the tools and flexibility to address these challenges. The good news is that the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is actively considering alternative methods for managing red snapper that can strike the proper balance and ensure a successful recovery of this fishery.
“Effective fisheries management is more important now than ever as we do not yet know the extent to which the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster affected red snapper and the things they rely on as a food source.”
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