Press Release

President to Sign Major Oceans Legislation into Law

NRDC calls for Cooperation, Strict Enforcement

Julia Bovey, NRDC, 202/289-2420 or 202/270-0768 (cell)

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."

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