Environmental Policy News

Fisheries Improvement and Seafood Health Act Introduced to Modernize Alaska Fisheries

Representative Mary Peltola (AK-AL) introduced the Fisheries Improvement and Seafood Health (FISH) Act to modernize Alaska fisheries. Currently, the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) is the primary federal law governing the management and conservation of both commercial and recreational fisheries, but it has not been updated since 2006.

“Seafood plays an important role in providing jobs, food, and economic benefits in Alaska, but federal law hasn't kept up,” said Rep. Peltola. “Now, Russia and China are flooding the market with cheap fish produced using forced labor and poor environmental standards. Alaska fishing families know all too well that federal law overseeing our fish is almost 20 years out of date—we have to address overfishing and new challenges before things get worse.”

The FISH Act would:

  • Create a Fisheries and Ecological Resilience program to help increase fisheries resilience.
  • Mandate a study on US seafood competitiveness in international markets and a separate study to assess federal programs that support domestic seafood production.

View the text of the legislation HERE. View a one-pager on the bill HERE.

“Science-based fisheries management in US federal waters provides a strong foundation for healthy and productive domestic fisheries and oceans,” said Robert C. Vandermark, Executive Director of the Marine Fish Conservation Network. “Due to the growing reality of climate change, our oceans are changing, and the way we manage our marine resources needs to adapt to meet the emerging ecological conditions. Rep. Peltola’s FISH Act aims to build on the success of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act by increasing fisheries resilience through coordinated data collection, innovative management tools, and increased collaboration between agencies and regional fishery management councils. It would also provide important and much-needed information on US seafood competitiveness in domestic and global seafood trade. The Marine Fish Conservation Network Thanks Rep. Peltola for her continuing efforts to support sustainable fishing and seafood-related jobs and businesses that make up the economic backbone of our coastal communities. These improvements will help us meet the current and future challenges facing our oceans and fisheries and will benefit the communities and people who depend on them.”

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