Dear Senator Sullivan, Senator Murkowski and Representative Young,
As chefs, restaurateurs, grocers, and seafood suppliers, our livelihoods depend on the ability to provide wild-caught seafood to our customers. Sustainable fisheries--ensured through science-based catch limits and robust data collection--are at the core of our businesses. As such, we urge you to support science-based fisheries management and to oppose any legislative efforts that would weaken management of U.S. marine fish populations. By doing so you can make sure that our businesses thrive and that current and future generations of Alaskans can enjoy healthy, productive fisheries for years to come.
As you know, the nation’s fisheries management law, the Magnuson Stevens Act, was amended in 1996 and 2006 to make certain that scientific advice provided the basis of fishery management decisions. Preventing overfishing through sustainable catch limits, something Alaska has done for decades, and timely rebuilding of overfished populations have proven to be fundamental to successful fishery management and must be maintained to provide sustained economic growth for those businesses that depend on a steady supply of wild seafood.
The next reauthorization of the MSA is an opportunity to continue safeguarding our fisheries for the long-term benefit of our businesses, our customers, and our families. We ask that you not advance (or forgo) any legislation that weakens or eliminates science-based fisheries management. Instead, we ask that you work to strengthen the MSA by supporting legislation that builds on the success of the bill--including improved stock assessments frequency, better data collection in all fisheries, and policies designed to meet the needs of fishery-dependent businesses, communities, and changing ocean conditions.
It is our hope that you will champion a reauthorized MSA that ensures access to sustainable seafood and further demonstrates Alaska’s leadership on science-based fishery management. Thank you for considering our views; we look forward to working with you to advance stronger, healthier fisheries that can benefit Alaskan communities from ocean to plate.
Alaska’s chefs, restaurateurs, grocers, and seafood suppliers.