Nation’s Most Valuable Fishing Port Asks Congress for Flexibility, Collaboration, New Technology and Better Accountability

House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Congressman John Tierney (D-MA) Join New Bedford, Mass. Mayor Jon Mitchell to Discuss Improvements to Federal Fisheries Law Magnuson-Stevens Act

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House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (OR) and Congressman John Tierney (MA) join New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell at the Gloucester Seafood Display Auction/BASE New England.

“Fishing is an essential and vital part of New Bedford’s port and regional economy...That is why it is essential that the law be improved to provide the maximum benefit for our fishermen while still staying true to its conservation goals,” said the Mayor.

New Bedford, MA (PRWEB) July 01, 2014

Mayor Jon Mitchell today spoke out on the topic of fisheries management at a special listening session in Gloucester, Massachusetts hosted by Congressman John Tierney and Congressman Peter DeFazio, the Ranking Member on the House Committee on Natural Resources. The House Committee on Natural Resources is working on a reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the primary law governing marine fisheries management in federal waters.

The Mayor proposed three ways the Committee could strengthen and improve the Act to the benefit of the fishing community and without harm to our fishing resources. (See attached letter from Mayor Jon Mitchell to Congressman DeFazio.)

“Fishing is an essential and vital part of New Bedford’s port and regional economy, and the Magnuson-Stevens Act dictates much of when, where, and how our fishermen can fish. That is why it is essential that the law be improved to provide the maximum benefit for our fishermen while still staying true to its conservation goals,” said the Mayor.

Mayor Mitchell encouraged the Committee to make changes to the Act which would allow more flexibility in fishery management plans, foster collaborative research and use of new video-based technologies as well as for increased accountability in fisheries management and cooperation in fisheries research.

The Mayor also presented the Congressmen with copies of the “Groundfish Port Recovery and Revitalization Plan for the Port of New Bedford and Fairhaven.” The Plan, released two weeks ago includes recommendations for the Northeast's struggling groundfish fishery.

Read more about New Bedford's commitment to advancing its port.