Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act

Dear Washington Congressional Delegation,

As chefs, restaurateurs, grocers, and restaurant seafood suppliers we depend on healthy ocean ecosystems, sustainable American seafood, and abundant fish populations. Today, we write to encourage your support for advancing a more comprehensive fishery management approach when the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act is next reauthorized. This kind of big picture fishery management is good for fish, fishermen, and businesses that depend on fish, including the ones that provide seafood at restaurants across the United States.

The current U.S. fisheries management system emphasizes establishing fishing rules on individual populations or groups of similar populations. Although improvements to the law in 1996 and 2006 have helped to end overfishing on many species and to rebuild a number of depleted populations, they do not address the bigger picture. Taking a big picture approach, factoring the knowledge we have about what each species eats, where it lives and what it depends upon is a critical next step in advancing good management. As Congress moves forward to consider further updates to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, it is important to not only maintain our management successes but also build on them to make sure fish are managed as part of the larger ocean environment and to reinforce our fisheries against emerging and ongoing threats such as loss of habitat.

Specifically, we should strengthen the Magnuson-Stevens Act to better protect essential fish habitats, minimize the incidental catch of fish and other wildlife, and account for the critical role that forage fish play as prey for other fish and wildlife. We should analyze and understand the impact of fishing before opening or expanding fisheries or accessing new areas. And, we should develop plans that establish a road map for broadening the scope of managing fish populations, so we factor in the important interactions among fish populations, other marine wildlife, and habitats of the ocean ecosystem.

By incorporating a big-picture approach to fisheries management, Congress can safeguard our ocean resources and coastal communities for the long-term benefit of our customers and your constituents.

As an influential member, representing a state known for some of the best fisheries in the world, you have the opportunity to contribute in a critical and substantial way. It is our hope that you will wholeheartedly embrace such a pivotal leadership role and champion ecosystem based fisheries management in the reauthorization of Magnuson-Stevens Act.

Thank you for considering our views. We look forward to working with you to advance stronger, healthier fisheries that can benefit our communities from ocean to plate.

Zoi Antonitsas, Chef – Jarr and Co
Marius Arbune, Chef Cornuto
Joe Bayley, Chef – Munchery
William Belickis, Chef/Owner Mistral Kitchen
Bryan Black, Chef Bourbon and Bones
Roy Breiman, Corporate Culinary Director – Coastal Hotels
Pepa Brower & Dre Neeley, Chefs/Owners Gravy Vashon
David Burger, Executive Director – Stewardship Partners
Brian Canlis & Mark Canlis, Owners – Canlis
Matt Dillon, Chef/Owner – Sitka and Spruce, The Corson Building, The London Plane
Toby Eidem, Owner – Corbett Fish House
Bruno Feldeisen, Semiahmoo Resort
Lyf Gildersleeve, Owner – Flying Fish Company
Joshua Henderson, Huxley Wallace Collective
Stacey Hettinger, Owner – Geraldine’s Counter
Maria Hines, Maria Hines Restaurants – Tilth, Golden Beetle, Agrodolce
Wayne Johnson, Chef Fare Start
Sieb & Jen Jurriaans Chef & Owners Prima Bistro in Langley
Dan Kent, Fish Activist Salmon Label/Certification
Jason LaJeunesse, Chef Earnest Loves Agnes
Carla Leonardi, Chef/Owner – Café Lago
Robin Leventhal, Wine Country Culinary Institute & Crave Catering
Deming Maclise, Chef Rhein Haus, Poquitos and Macleods
Mike & Liz McConnell, Owners – Via Tribunali
Brendan McGill, Chef/Owner – Hitchcock
Chris Mead, Chef Big Marios Pizza
Duke Moscrip, Owner – Duke’s Chowder House
Tamara Murphy/Linda Di Lello Morton, Owners – Terra Plata
PCC Natural Markets
Bill Ranniger, Chef Duke’s Chowder House
Crystal Sanders, Founder Fish Revolution
Holly Smith, Chef/Owner – Cafe Juanita
Gary Snyder, Owner – Heyday
Riley Starks, Partner – Lummi Island Wild Co-op
Jason Stoneburner, Chef/Partner – Stoneburner and Bastille Restaurants
Ethan & Angela Stowell, Chef & Owners of Stowell Restaurants
Johnathan Sundstrom, Lark Restaurant
Eric Tanaka, Tom Douglas Restaurants
Jim Watkins, Director of Dining Services – Bastyr University
Geran Webb, Chef The Hardware Store
Blain Wetzel, Chef Willows Inn in Lummi Island
Alex Wilson, Chef Odd Fellows

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