Hearing scheduled on Magnuson-Stevens Act

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The House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife was expected to hold an oversight hearing this morning on implementation of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 2006.

The subcommittee will explore the progress made by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Regional Fishery Management Councils in setting annual catch limits and accountability measures to end overfishing and rebuild overfished stocks.

The hearing will focus on how annual catch limits are set, efforts to improve the type and quality of information that informs management decisions, and successes and challenges of implementing annual catch limits and accountability measures.

Witnesses invited to testify on behalf of the recreational fishing community include Herbert P. Moore Jr., Esq., Gallagher, Briody & Butler; and Capt. Mark Brown of the fishing vessel Teaser 2. Moore, of New Jersey, and Brown, of South Carolina, are both members of the Recreational Fishing Alliance and are expected to give detailed expert testimony on how mandates within Magnuson-Stevens are impacting the recreational fishing sector.

"It is our hope that serious discussion is given to the fatal flaws in the recreational survey methodology now destroying our recreational fishing communities in America," said Jim Donofrio, executive director of the RFA, in a statement.

"The recent closures of red snapper, amberjack and black sea bass should serve as a wake-up call to Congress that our federal fisheries law is falling short of its requirement to protect both the fish and the fishermen," Donofrio added. "We're glad that a few of our coastal stakeholders will be there to provide firsthand analysis from the community."

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