Ranking Member Grijalva Highlights Broad-Based Economic, Environmental Opposition to Doomed Partisan GOP Fisheries Bill

Washington, D.C. – Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today highlighted the broad-based economic and environmental opposition to H.R. 200, today’s highly partisan rewrite of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which governs fisheries and fishing quotas across U.S. waters. The GOP bill is opposed by the Seafood Harvesters of America and a wide swathe of restaurants and individual commercial fisherman and by dozens of environmental groups, including the Alaska Wilderness League, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, the League of Conservation Voters, the National Audubon Society, Pew Charitable Trusts, the Ocean Conservancy and the Wilderness Society.

Opponents of the Republican bill have written a barrage of letters to Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and other Republican leaders, including Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), who chairs the Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans, urging them to reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Act and abandon today’s bill, which was written by Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) on highly partisan lines. The letters are available at http://bit.ly/2nYuEin.

“Republicans’ plan is to deregulate our oceans and fish everywhere until there’s nothing left, and we’re not going to let that happen,” Grijalva said today. “Ocean management is about sustainable use and enjoyment, not just making environmentalists unhappy. Like most of the bills advanced by the leadership of this Committee, this bill is extreme and has no future in the Senate. Until my counterparts decide to take the issues in our jurisdiction more seriously, we’re going to keep wasting time on unpopular bills that have no chance of becoming law.”

Grijalva also underscored the deep opposition to H.R. 3588, Rep. Garret Graves’ (R-La.) bill deregulating red snapper fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Many letter-writers who oppose H.R. 200 also oppose Graves’ effort, which an alliance of chefs and restaurateurs noted in a Nov. 7 letter “could inadvertently result in significant overfishing and deprive our customers of one of their favorite fish.”

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