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Discussion Starter #1
Consider writing your congress person with the following suggested letter:



Dear (your member of US House of Delegates):

I would like to call your attention to activities surrounding the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the law governing marine fishing in U.S. waters.

The American Fisheries Management and Marine Life Enhancement Act (H.R. 5018), introduced by Congressmen Richard Pombo (R-CA) and Barney Frank (D-MA), will not put an end to overfishing, and instead will actually roll back current law.

The bill contains three major flaws:

* In 2004, the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy (USCOP), a blue-ribbon panel appointed by President Bush, called for strengthening the Magnuson-Stevens Act through a series of recommendations. The Pombo-Frank bill generally ignores many of the recommendations of ocean experts in favor of weak guidelines that would allow overfishing to continue. Of particular concern is the lack of accountability and enforcement provisions when fishing quotas are exceeded.

* The Pombo-Frank bill rolls back current law by introducing major loopholes. For example, the bill changes the term "overfished" to "diminished," a term currently unused in conservation practice, and then significantly alters the definition by allowing fishery managers to blame environmental conditions for the poor state of U.S. fish stocks. Under these terms, fishermen would be allowed to continue to overfish already depleted stocks.

* The Pombo-Frank bill also fails to address the serious problem of recovery for overfished stocks by allowing for broad exceptions to the current requirement to rebuild overfished stocks within 10 years.

While H.R. 5018 fulfills some of the recommendations of the USCOP, the crucial provisions addressing the problem of overfishing are woefully inadequate.

Congress will be reauthorizing the MSA very soon. In order to ensure the long term viability of U.S. fishing resources and prevent devastating collapses in local fishing economies, please ensure that Congress passes an MSA bill that includes accountability and enforcement measures to put an end to overfishing. Please oppose Mr. Pombo and Mr. Frank's efforts to weaken fisheries law and allow our ocean legacy to fade away. Instead, please work to promote an alternative that would build on the strengths of our existing fishery management system. A strong MSA bill should bolster the reliance on sound science in fishery management decisions.

Thank you for your consideration.

(Your name, address, telephone number )
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Looks like I have to eat crow onthis one...environmental groups have been the major groups opposing the bill...they are putting smoke screens around the issue and using the same arguments to defeat it that others are using to support the bill.

Looks like the commericals and recreationals are together on this one. I have changed my position from objecting...to now supporting the bill. There appear to be many problems that need to be worked out and recreational interests are trying to slow down passage of the bill until all the bugs are worked out. Nevertheless,,,CCA came out today supporting the bill...You can still write your legislator and tell them where you stand...I must write mine and explain that I now support the bill and want her to do the same. Bob Allen, Hampton, VA

Magnuson-Stevens Act Release
Please forward to those who may be interested, CCA has worked hard to get this into action.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

News Release

Coastal Conservation Association

6919 Portwest, Suite 100, Houston, TX 77024

Email: [email protected] Website: www.joincca.org



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 20, 2006 CONTACT: Ted Venker, 1-800-201-FISH



Fisheries Management Act Clears Committee

Angling community unites for conservation effort



WASHINGTON, DC – Recreational anglers applaud passage today of HR 5018, the American Fisheries Management and Marine Life Enhancement Act, out of the House Resources Committee. Key provisions of the Act ensure anglers freedom to fish while strengthening conservation of our nation’s fisheries.

Richard W. Pombo (R-CA), chairman of the House Resources Committee, introduced the Act with Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Rep. Don Young (R-AK). The bill reauthorizes the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the paramount law governing American fisheries and fishing-related activities in U.S. waters.

“Science, intertwined with U.S. Ocean Commission recommendations and a rational approach to managing fisheries, are at the heart of this bill,” said Rep. Pombo.

Coastal Conservation Association has worked with a coalition of conservation-minded groups, including other recreational angling groups, to ensure that provisions in the Act will utilize solid scientific data to achieve healthy fish populations for recreational anglers to pursue.

“Chairman Pombo did an excellent job of pulling together a diverse set of interests to produce this bill,” said Fred Miller, chairman of CCA’s Government Relations Committee. “It is absolutely essential for recreational anglers to participate in the debate on how our nation’s marine resources are governed. As a direct result of that participation, this bill contains key priorities including improving allocation of fish stocks for recreational harvest and establishing guidelines before marine protected areas can be created. This is a bill that is good for conservation and good for recreational anglers.”

Rep. Pombo’s bill, as amended in the Committee, emerged more closely resembling Sen. Ted Stevens’ (R-AK) version of the bill, which has already passed the Senate Commerce Committee.

“We look forward to working with both chambers to obtain final passage of this vital legislation,” said Bob Hayes, CCA general counsel.
 
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