Domestic and global fishing issues take center stage

With Catherine Boudreau, Helena Bottemiller Evich, Maya Parthasarathy and Pradnya Joshi

MAGNUSON-STEVENS ADVANCES, BUT NOT WITHOUT A FIGHT: The House Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday advanced out of committee revisions to the Magnuson-Stevens Act (H.R. 200 (115)) governing marine fishing and management in federal waters. The law is intended to prevent overfishing, but several conservation groups and Democrats are critical of the way it was written. Only three out of 12 amendments to the bill passed, and the bill moved out of committee on a party-line vote, your host reports.

What lawmakers said: Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), who voted against it, called it a plan to “deregulate our oceans and fish everywhere until there’s nothing left.” He added: “Like most of the bills advanced by the leadership of this committee, this bill is extreme and has no future in the Senate.” Many environmental groups also issued strongly worded statements condemning the bill.

GOP leaders, for their part, took issue with the idea that it was being rushed. “The idea we are jamming this through without ample opportunity is false,” said Rep.Don Young (R-Alaska), who noted that he had been working on this legislation for the past five years. “I recognize this bill is not perfect yet.”

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