THE VOTE IS TODAY. CALL YOUR CONGRESSPERSON NOW AND TELL THEM TO VOTE NO ON HR 200.
The one thing about Congressional legislation in American politics is how Orwellian the naming conventions are designed to be. My favorite is the “USA PATRIOT” Act, which stood for: “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001”, and meant that the government had expanded authority to erode your Constitutional liberties in the name of “defending” you. I mean, you voted AGAINST the “USA PATRIOT” Act!?!?!? After 9/11? What kind of un-American monster are you?
And so it goes.
Some upcoming legislation I need you to call your Congresscritter about? The equally Orwellian-named “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management” Act. I mean, who could be against that? Don’t you want to strengthen fishing communities? Don’t you want flexibility? WHY DO YOU WANT TO KILL THE GORTON’S FISHERMAN?!?! Of course, it’s not really about that. Thanks to a law called the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Act, which became law in 1976. Why’d it become law? Well, in part of due to the collapse of the North Atlantic Cod Fishery. Let me show you in one easy chart:
The Y axis is amount of cod caught in millions of tons. The X axis is the year. Look at what happened in 1976, and the in the 1990s. We basically wiped out a breeding generation and then WHOOPS WHAT HAPPENS 20 YEARS LATER. Magnuson-Stevens was designed to stop this, and that huge crash in the 1990s was basically because science got it wrong. Catch limits were set too high after the 1970s crash and then it literally killed the cod fishery in New England and Canada because the governments basically said “HA, YEAH, NO” to anyone who wanted to fish out the last remaining cod.
“Well, Klute, don’t you want to strengthen those communities? Again I ask, what kind of monster are you!??!” Well, here’s the thing – you strengthen the communities by making sure the fish are there to be caught. And lo, Magnuson-Stevens, with some good science now behind it is working really well. From the 2017 Report to Congress on the Status of the US Fisheries:
Read the whole thing (click on the link), but overall, the Magnuson-Stevens Act is working. There’s still that 9% that needs to be worked on, and the 15% that needs further recovery, but the act, by all accounts is working as is. Each year fish populations recover, and each year, the science gets better and gets tweaked to move the process forward toward recovery further. But ending overfishing is a constant battle. Look at what happened to the cod. Any species that is overfished can be overfished again. And certain elements of Congress who don’t understand the science (or who understand the science but are putting short-term economic gain over long term stability).
It’s on the docket today, with a vote scheduled for the end of the day.