OPPOSITION AGAINST SENATE FISHERIES BILL GROWING

In a piece recently published in The Hill, Alabama fisherman David Walker detailed why proposals like S. 1520 endanger the sustainability of seafood from the Gulf and around the country.

David’s not alone in his concern. Yet Senators on the Commerce Committee are poised to move Senate Bill 1520 forward next week.

Just this month more than 30 fishing organizations from Maine down to Florida and up to Alaska have submitted letters to Congress expressing concerns about Senate Bill 1520. While the legislation aims to solve problems facing anglers, the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance noted that “…a number of provisions would impose harm on the nation’s commercial fishermen and seafood supply chain. Helping recreational fishermen doesn’t have to come at the expense of hurting commercial fishermen…”

Similarly, a letter from more than 150 of the nation’s preeminent chefs including Jacques Pepin, Tom Colicchio, Stephen Stryjewski and Hugo Ortega declared, “We need strong federal laws…to ensure we will continue to be able to provide high quality food to our customers.”

And just last week the Seafood Harvesters of America said, “Improving recreational fishery management doesn’t require undercutting commercial fishery management, yet this bill is much more focused on the latter than on the former.”

Fishermen, chefs and conservationists agree that S. 1520 risks damaging the commercial sector and supply chain, only to miss the mark on fixing recreational management. We urge Senators to oppose S. 1520 until the anti-conservation and anti-seafood provisions are removed.

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