issue with New York
Times editorial on Magnuson-Stevens
Hagan, D-N.C., today stood up for North Carolina fishermen in the New
York Times. Hagan wrote a letter to the editor, published in today’s
paper, in response to a Times editorial that praises the current
fishery management law, the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
Hagan cosponsored the Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act,
which would change this law to provide fishermen needed flexibility to
maintain their livelihoods. Hagan's letter to the editor can be read
“Without flexibility, fisheries that are rebuilt in less than a decade
must remain closed, leaving fishermen stuck at the docks, and
businesses from tackle shops to boat builders suffering,” Hagan wrote
in the Times. “Our coastal economies are hemorrhaging jobs. Fishermen
are now spending more time in the waters off South Americaís coast,
where they can fish without laws that straightjacket them.
“I am pushing for the Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act
because we need regulations that let North Carolina fishermen do what
they do best -- fish in the waters off North Carolina.”
Currently, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act
requires fisheries that are considered "overfished" to be completely
rebuilt within 10 years. The 10-year timeline leaves no flexibility to
utilize the most up-to-date technology and forces regulators to
implement overly strict fishing quotas.
The Flexibility in Rebuilding Fisheries Act, sponsored by U. S. Sen.
Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., will allow fishery managers to balance
environmental and economic priorities by letting overfished sites
specify a rebuilding time period that makes sense.
The Times, however, defended the rigid law in an April 20 editorial
that can be read here.
Hagan also opposes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration's policy on catch shares and is working with U.S. Sen.
Richard Burr, R-N.C., and U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., to protect