Mar 22 2012

“It’s All About Jobs” Will be the Message of Thousands of Fishermen in Washington on March 21


With just three days to go until the Keep Fishermen Fishing Rally near the U.S. Capitol on March 21, organizers expect thousands of recreational and commercial fishermen – and their families – to be in Washington this week in support of coastal fishing-related jobs.

Coastal fishermen last assembled in organized protest in February of 2010 to show their dissatisfaction with federal fisheries management, though organizers say that Congress has been slow to react to their concerns.

Despite previous congressional mandates, there has been no improvement in the science underlying federal fisheries management and no adherence by the federal agency to the statutory requirements that federal fisheries data collection be improved. Instead, NOAA Fisheries enforcement is in a shambles, as are the assurances of transparency and rebuilt relationships that Dr. Jane Lubchenco promised Congress when she took over at NOAA in 2009.

According to the thousands of fishermen set to peacefully assemble at Upper Senate Park on March 21st, changes implemented under the reauthorized 2006 Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act have improved the health of U.S. coastal fish stocks primarily by kicking fishermen off the water and putting thousands of Americans out of work. Recreational and commercial fishermen alike, supported by a core group of bipartisan coastal legislators, believe that proper balance of commerce and conservation is possible through simple amendments to the federal fisheries law.

“We aren’t going to Washington because we object to effective fisheries management; we are going because we object to overly restrictive management measures,” said Nils Stolpe, one of the rally organizers and a representative of the commercial fishing industry. “We are going because we object to a federal law that puts all of the emphasis on protecting the fish and none whatsoever on protecting the jobs of those that sustainably harvest those fish.”

Read more about the event on MarketWatch or visit


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