In a move that shockingly hasn’t divided party lines further, the U.S. federal government has implemented a rule to attempt to prevent overfishing in seas surrounding the country. The policy was originally initiated under George W. Bush, and was finalized by president Obama.
According to Joshua Reichert, managing director for the Pew Environmental Group, “This simple but enormously powerful provision had eluded lawmakers for years and is probably the most important conservation statute ever enacted into America’s fisheries law.”
Before this went into effect, regional fish management councils ignored scientists who set limits. Scientists claimed business-as-usual fishing was unsustainable and would lead to dwindling fish populations, as well as dwindling revenue for fishermen. However, they have since signed off on these laws, finally understanding the value of still having fish in the future, even if it means fewer fish in the present. What a concept.
Of course there are still a handful of congressmen who are fighting against this, hoping to undo the regulations due to “lack of scientific data to justify the restrictions”, claiming the mandates are arbitrary and rigid. Congress can’t win them all.
It’s sort of sad that the government has to put forth regulations to keep humans from driving every species to extinction, but it’s also not that surprising. At least it’s nice to see that some of them care enough, even if it’s just so humans can continue to have delicious fish dinners in the future.