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President to Sign Major Oceans Legislation into Law
NRDC calls for Cooperation, Strict Enforcement

WASHINGTON (January 12, 2007) -- President Bush today is planning to sign the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act into law. This act, which passed in the waning hours of the 109th Congress, strengthens current law by requiring an end to over-fishing and by requiring that science – not politics – dictates how many fish can be caught per year. The legislation also strengthens penalties for illegal fishing in international waters.

Statement by Sarah Chasis, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Oceans Initiative
 
“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. The president must ensure that managers get a handle on runaway fish catch levels to protect and strengthen our oceans and the economies that depend on them. In addition, the president should work with the international community to promote sustainable fisheries management on the high seas.
 
“Our oceans are in serious trouble and fisheries management is just a part of the puzzle. 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."

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 1.4 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.


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