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Old 11-07-2005, 08:04 PM
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Default Bill to reauthorize the Magnuson Stevenson Act

The bill contains key elements to implement the
President's 2004 Ocean Action Plan and calls for a hard deadline to end
overfishing. "The commercial and recreational fishing industries are vital to the health
of our economy," said Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez. "For over 30
years, Magnuson-Stevens has been our guide for wise stewardship of the nation's
fisheries resources and helped the U.S. become a world leader in marine science
and conservation as a result. The Administration's reauthorization bill
builds upon these successes while evolving to meet today's changing needs."The new
bill includes the following provisions:Ensures that fisheries management
decisions are based on proven, peer-reviewed scientific information;Encourages
fishery managers to use market-based management, such as dedicated access
privileges, where appropriate, to make fishing safer and more profitable; Calls for
tougher fines and penalties for those who break fisheries laws;
Requires an end to overfishing practices; Establishes a national saltwater
angler registry to ensure that recreational catches are better counted for
scientific assessments and management purposes; Elevates the importance of
ecosystem-based management by authorizing the regional fishery management councils to
develop ecosystem plans. Building on the commitment in the U.S. Ocean Action
Plan, to promote greater use of market-based systems for fisheries management,
Secretary Gutierrez pledged to work with the Fishery Management Councils to
double the number of dedicated access privileges programs by 2010. This goal
will bring eight new fisheries under market-based management programs. In the
eight fisheries where dedicated access privileges have been implemented since
1990, fishermen have enjoyed higher profits, lower costs, longer fishing seasons
and a safer, more stable industry."Oceans are important to everyone and one of
our highest priorities is to create a vibrant well managed fishery system
that can provide healthy food and good jobs to Americans for generations to
come," said Chairman Jim Connaughton, White House Council on Environmental Quality.
"These new tools will help us toward ending overfishing and rebuilding our fish stocks."
For a copy of the new proposal, along with the press release and a section-by-section analysis, please visit: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/msa2005/
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