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Editorial: A Good Law That's Working

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Editorial: A Good Law That's Working

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  • Lee Crockett

    Lee Crockett

    Director, U.S. Oceans

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The New York Times

After years of overfishing, many fish populations have begun to recover. On Monday, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced that New England’s fishermen will be allowed to increase their catch of 11 commercially important fish stocks in Atlantic waters this summer.

This progress, and that announcement, can be traced directly to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, a 35-year-old law that imposes ambitious timetables for rebuilding depleted fish stocks and gives scientists a major say in setting limits. So it is disturbing that New York’s two Democratic senators, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand — both with solid environmental records — want to weaken the law.

Along with two senators from North Carolina, Kay Hagan, a Democrat, and Richard Burr, a Republican, they have introduced the Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act. It would extend the deadlines for rebuilding fish populations and give greater weight to the “economic consequences” of fishing restrictions — another way of saying that science should play a less-decisive role.


Read the full editorial, A Good Law That’s Working, on The New York Times website.


Related News and Resources

  • National Geographic: A Better Way to Protect Our Ocean Ecosystems

    • Opinion
    • Apr 02, 2014
    The application of new science, along with critical reforms of key laws and regulations, is leading to more effective policies to manage America’s ocean fisheries.


  • Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management

    • Fact Sheet
    • Mar 20, 2014
    Ensuring the long-term health of important marine species will depend upon our ability to understand and account for the interactions among those species, their environment, and the people who rely upon them for food, commerce, and sport.


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