There you go again…
By Jeff Angers
Center for Coastal Conservation
It is more of the same from the Pew Environment Group. The message below making the rounds in DC has all the hallmarks of the environmental community’s overall approach to marine resource management. If you believe a hodgepodge of partial bits of information that perhaps add up to an informed guess is good enough to manage our nation’s marine fisheries, then I guess you don’t mind sending messages to Congress that leave out critical pieces of information either.
The message below urges Congress to oppose much-needed adjustments to the Magnuson-Stevens Act and laments the losses to the commercial fishing sector due to overfishing. Pew doesn’t seem so concerned about losses to the recreational sector due to overfishing, but that isn’t a surprise.
Overfishing costs all businesses in this arena money over the value potentially available if the stock was recovered. However, the proposed legislation, H.R. 2304, doesn’t change the fact that management is going to continue recovering those stocks.
H.R. 2304 is not trying to alter rebuilding schedules. Far from it. Annual catch limits for overfished stocks have already been set. H.R. 2304 only asks that managers not be forced to destroy fisheries based on bad science and weaken conservation by dropping fish out of fishery management plans just to comply with a statutory deadline.
Environmentalist groups like to pretend they are only ones who don’t like overfishing. They’re not. Everyone agrees that overfishing is horrible and that it costs us money, reducing the economic viability and sustainability of our coastal communities Everyone wants stocks recovered quickly. But not everyone is willing to be rational about it.
New report shows fishermen in the Southeast losing millions due to chronic overfishing
Dear Senator ——————–,
I am writing to let you know about a new report released by the Pew Environment Group showing that commercial fishermen in the Southeast region who targeted depleted ocean fish populations such as gag grouper and red snapper lost $15.2 million in 2009. These losses were the direct result of decades of overfishing – catching fish faster than they can reproduce. Congress recognized the costly toll of overfishing when it strengthened the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) with bipartisan requirements to establish science-based annual catch limits to end overfishing and rebuild U.S. ocean fish populations. The Pew Environment Group respectfully requests you to reject efforts to undermine these requirements so that we can restore our nation’s fish populations to healthy levels and put those dollars back in fishermen’s wallets.
The Hidden Cost of Overfishing to Commercial Fishermen, a report produced by the non-profit organization Ecotrust for the Pew Environment Group, analyzes the impact of chronic overfishing by calculating the revenue lost in 2009 by commercial fishermen in three regions with the highest levels of overfishing. We hope you will consider these findings and continue Congress’ bipartisan tradition of support for the MSA.
If you or your staff have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 202-552-2065 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Lee R. Crockett
Director, Federal Fisheries Policy