Sustainable Fisheries under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act

Number 2018-06

WHEREAS, we, the members of the National Wildlife Federation, coming together as One Federation, protecting our lands, waters and natural resources for today and for the benefit of future generations do hereby establish and submit the following resolution; and

WHEREAS, the National Wildlife Federation was established in 1936 and is the oldest and largest national organization protecting fish, wildlife and their habitats; and

WHEREAS, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) was originally enacted in 1976, and reauthorized in 1996 and 2006, and governs fisheries management in federal waters of the United States; and

WHEREAS, the statute authorizes eight regional fishery management councils to manage fisheries resources upon which Tribal citizens and communities are hugely dependent; and

WHEREAS, these eight regional councils manage a geographic region larger than the continental United States and are responsible for the health of a $46 billion recreational fishing industry and a $25 billion commercial fishing industry, while at the same time entrusted with conservation of hundreds of species of marine fish; and

WHEREAS, a flawed single-species based management system which does not consider the food web dynamics, fishing gear impacts, and non-target species taken as bycatch has resulted in the historic overfishing of the nation’s fish stocks; and

WHEREAS, America’s hunting and fishing practices are profoundly connected to long standing social, cultural and spiritual beliefs and rural economies and the use of single-species management has resulted in significant negative impacts to all Americans; and

WHEREAS, the current management of many of our ocean resources under science-based rebuilding plans as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act has resulted in the rebuilding of 2/3 of our nation’s depleted fish stocks within the last two decades; and

WHEREAS, many species of groundfish, forage fish and salmonids are still in need of science-based management under the Magnuson-Stevens Act so that they too, have an opportunity to rebuild and add ecosystem benefits to the natural world; and

WHEREAS, we recognize the social, cultural, ecological and economic benefits a rebounded species has on the ecosystems in which said species resides; and

WHEREAS, that the National Wildlife Federation recognizes the social, economic, and ecological value of a Magnuson-Stevens Act which ensures that sport and commercial fisheries remain robust and prosecutable, forage fish stocks are abundant and provide for all ecosystem needs, and our nation is able to maintain abundant and sustainable sources of marine protein for the world’s food web.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Wildlife Federation at its annual meeting assembled June 6-9, 2018 in Chantilly, Virginia, supports working with our partners to urge that our nation’s fishery management councils adhere to the provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act that prevent the overharvesting of sensitive stocks of fish so that future generations of Americans can enjoy the bounty of this resource in a sustainable manner.