SPECIAL ON MAGNUSON ACT REAUTHORIZATION
Fisheries and Conservation News from the Pacific
Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations and the Insititute
for Fisheries Resources
PLEASE REPOST TO YOUR NETWORKS
The Magnuson Act is the legal foundation of all US federal fisheries
management, and for the past 4 years has been up for Congressional
reauthorization. Many organizations, including PCFFA and its affiliates,
have worked together to get the best possible bill, and we already got
a very good bill through the US House of Representatives by a very wide
margin. Now the bill is stuck in the Senate with only a few more
legislative days left in this session. Whether or not this bill goes
through Congress will depend on actions over the next few days.
TIME IS CRITICAL AND YOUR EFFORTS ARE NEEDED NOW.
Unless this bill can be "unstuck" soon, it will die and 4 years of hard
work will go for nothing. This alert is forwarded from the Marine Fish
Conservation Network for your immediate attention. PCFFA and
other fisheries organizations work closely with the Network and
support most of its policies.
Regardless of positions on specific points of dispute, the time is
now to resolve these issues on the Senate floor and go on to pass
the bill. PLEASE MAKE THIS ONE A HIGH PRIORITY OVER THE
NEXT FEW DAYS!! Thanks -- The Editor
ACTION ALERT FOR THE FISH!!
SAVE AMERICA'S FISHERIES!
(Please Distribute This Widely)
For the past four years, the conservation community has
worked closely with many in the recreational and
commercial fishing communities to reform federal fisheries
law. This broad coalition of 100 groups, under the banner
of the Marine Fish Conservation Network, has
accomplished a lot with this Congress. We are now on the
verge of victory, or tragedy, depending on what happens in
the Senate during the final days before they leave for a
month-long recess on August 2.
Right now we are under severe time restraints to get the
Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act
reauthorized this year. Last October, the House of
Representatives passed a strong bill for fisheries
conservation by a vote of 388-37. The Senate's bill, S. 39,
is also a very good bill for conservation, with provisions on
overfishing, bycatch and waste reduction, and fish habitat
protection. If this legislation passes, the Magnuson Act
would be greatly improved for long-term economic and
Senators Ted Stevens (R-AK) and John Kerry (D-MA), S.
39's prime authors, have worked with many other senators
to develop this conservation bill. But currently there is a
massive logjam in the Senate with the threat of filibuster
from the Washington State senators. Senators Stevens and
Kerry have negotiated with Senators Slade Gorton (R-WA)
and Patty Murray (D-WA) - the only senators openly
opposed to the legislation - to try and reach a compromise
on their concerns. Senators Stevens and Kerry's good faith
efforts have been to no avail and has led some to believe
that the senators from Washington are only interested in
killing the bill because the status quo benefits some of
Seattle's largest corporate fishing interests.
The Washingtonians plan to filibuster S. 39, so Senators
Stevens and Kerry circulated a letter throughout the Senate
asking for members to sign on - stating that they support
bringing S. 39 to the Senate floor for a vote and would vote
for "cloture" (60 senators are needed to end a filibuster) if
necessary. With help from the Network and others, 71
senators signed this letter to the Senate leadership!
But it's still not enough! We need Majority Leader Trent
Lott (R-MS) to bring this legislation to the floor for a vote
- before the August recess, or else the bill will die, or we'll
end up with a bad bill in September due to last minute
wheeling and dealing.
Please contact the Washington senators (Senator Gorton can
be reached at 202/224-3441 and Senator Murray at
202/224-2621) and ask them to allow this bill to be brought
to the Senate floor without further delay. Also, please call
Majority Leader Lott's office (202/224-6253) and urge him
to bring this legislation to a vote! We need a vote now or
else four year's worth of work that would help turn our
nation's fisheries around and help make them sustainable
could be for naught. Your help is needed today!! Please
call the Network if you have any questions (202/546-0707).
END OF ALERT