Bush Signs Ocean Legislation Into Law, ENS, 01/12/07
Source: Environment News Service
WASHINGTON, DC - President George W. Bush today signed the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act into law.
Passed in the final hours of the last Congress, the measure strengthens current law by requiring an end to overfishing and by requiring that science, not politics, dictate how many fish can be caught per year.
The legislation also strengthens penalties for illegal fishing in international waters.
"The act sets a firm deadline to end overfishing in America," the President said, "contributes to replenishing America's fish stocks; strengthens enforcement of America's fishing laws; and implements international agreements on fishery management and the protection of polar bears."
Environmentalists are pleased with the law. Sarah Chasis, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Oceans Initiative, said, "Signing this bill into law is an exciting and significant step toward restoring our oceans. We hope that the administration will craft regulations that will bring the letter of this law to our waters."
"Our oceans are in serious trouble and fisheries management is just a part of the puzzle," Chasis said. "We look forward to working with the President and Congress to tackle other critical needs, including passage of healthy oceans legislation to protect, maintain, and restore the sustainability and productivity of ocean ecosystems."