May 10 2013

Successful Managing Our Nation’s Fisheries Conference Brings Together Diverse Voices

Managing Our Nation's Fisheries Advancing Sustainability logoThe Managing Our Nation’s Fisheries 3 conference wrapped up today on a successful note, with conference participants developing 128 recommendations for improving fishery sustainability. The draft recommendations are online at and will be further elaborated in the conference proceedings.

The conference was coordinated by the eight Regional Fishery Management Councils and NOAA Fisheries, and was sponsored by both fishing industry and environmental groups. The conference aimed to identify both legislative and non-legislative measures to advance fishery sustainability in light of the coming reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act, which governs Federal fishery management in the United States. Most participants seemed to agree that the Magnuson-Stevens Act has been successful in managing U.S. fisheries, and that large-scale revisions would not be needed. For example, under the Act, 32 fish stocks that were previously labeled “overfished” have been rebuilt. However, there was also agreement that some changes are needed to keep the Act relevant, flexible, and responsive.

“These recommendations will be considered carefully as we move forward with Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization,” said Dave Whaley, Legislative staff for the House Natural Resources Subcommittee. “We do need to act carefully; we do not want to solve problems in one area of the country while creating new problems in other areas.”

The conference, held at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C., began on May 6 with keynotes by Rep.Doc Hastings (R-WA); NOAA Assistant Administrator Eric Schwaab; chef, author and television host Barton Seaver; and Deadliest Catch skipper Keith Colburn. The conference continued May 8 and 9 with sessions on improving fishery management essentials, advancing ecosystem-based decision making, and providing for fishing community stability. Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) addressed the conference attendees on May 8. More than 600 people attended the conference.

Read the full story here.

Leave a Reply