An Attack on Our Natural Heritage

H.R. 200 would undermine bedrock conservation laws and make it much harder to protect special ocean places and imperiled ocean wildlife.

Credit: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, 2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition Science Team

H.R. 200, the House bill to reauthorize and amend the Magnuson-Stevens Act (our federal fisheries law), threatens science-based fisheries management and would roll back protections for some of our most treasured ocean places and marine wildlife. H.R. 200 would undermine bedrock conservation laws, including the Antiquities Act, the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act.

Fishing is part of our cultural heritage. It is a vital ocean use that supports many coastal communities and enhances our food supply. Indeed, commercial fishing occurs throughout the vast majority of our ocean waters, with very few areas off-limits. However, ocean areas and wildlife that are special ecologically, scientifically, or recreationally are also part of our cultural and natural heritage. We must protect these unique resources—using the laws designed to do so—and not carve out exceptions for specific extractive industries.

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