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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.

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

 

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