By Cliff White, Executive Editor
Published on Thursday, November 17, 2016
The Seafood Harvesters of America have called on President-elect Donald Trump to abide by existing laws that require science-based fisheries management, including the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
The organization represents U.S. fishermen and seeks to encourage Congress to protect commercial fishing interests and create and maintain accountability in fisheries management.
“We know that the only way to ensure a plentiful and lasting seafood harvest for America is through science-based management of our fisheries. By respecting both the letter and the spirit of the Magnuson-Stevens Act – our nation's foundational fisheries law – America’s commercial fishermen have played a central role in the remarkable success of U.S. fisheries and a 98 percent increase in the sustainability of our 199 most important fish stocks,” the group said. “When we focus on accountability in fishing practices and fishery management we make economic success possible, while at the same time working to curb illegal and unregulated seafood imports that put American workers and consumers at risk.”
The group called on Trump to respect and work on behalf of the commercial fishing industry, which it said employs more than 187,000 Americans working at tens of thousands of businesses, and providing USD 14.8 billion (EUR 13.9 billion) in economic output.
“As harvesters of a public resource, we recognize and embrace our stewardship responsibility. We strive for accountability in our fisheries and encourage others to do the same. In doing so, we honor both the bounty of our oceans and the many millions of Americans who enjoy seafood,” the organization said in its release.
Seafood Harvesters also called on the recreational fishing community to work with them to improve fisheries sustainability and management.
“We look forward to working with accountability-focused members of the recreational fishing community as they demonstrate their own commitment to the economic and environmental sustainability of our nation’s priceless marine resources,” it said.