The U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife may have passed H.R. 4690 – the Sustaining America’s Fisheries for the Future Act, the latest attempt to reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) – but U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-California) believes the chances of it passing this session are slim.
The bill was approved by the committee on 29 September, 2022, leaving a relatively short time for it to pass through both the U.S. House and Senate before the end of the year, when the current congressional term expires.
“There’s not a lot of time left in this Congress,” Huffman told SeafoodSource. “I’m under no illusions, we’re late in the Congress, and it may take some sustained effort – we’ve got to get the Senate involved.”
The bill passed through committee amid opposition from key U.S. seafood groups, including the National Fisheries Institute, which said the proposed legislation didn’t take into account the industry’s specific concerns.
“During a legislative hearing on H.R. 4690 held last November, detailed testimony was presented by expert witnesses about sections of H.R. 4690 that raise alarms for fishery managers and participants,” a letter from several industry groups states. “Unfortunately, those detailed and specific concerns appear to have been ignored.”