Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 07-11-2018

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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PAWTUCKET EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | JULY 11-17, 2018 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR / PAWTUCKET 9 MacPherson: 'Congress needs to protect the longevity of our fisheries' I have always been a supporter of conservation and innovation in the recreational fishing community. I have often taken my children, grandchil- dren, extended family and friends fish- ing on my boat. Fishing offers us the opportunity to communicate while on the water enjoying the outdoors. Every fishing trip is an adventure. Because of what fishing means to me and my family, I have always been an avid conservationist on the water. Healthy fisheries support recreational fishing and are a vital part of the eco- nomic health of Rhode Island. Today, this fishing life we enjoy is being threatened by those that want to weaken the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA), the fishing law of this nation. There are bills in Congress supported by special interest groups that want to make it easier to take more fish for short term economic gain rather than long-term fisheries stability. The MSA is a bipartisan law, and any changes made should have sup- port from policymakers on both sides of the aisle. The MSA has success- fully rebuilt 44 fish stocks since 2000. Success has come from a long-term commitment to sustainability by fisher- men, scientists and managers. Science- based catch limits have made sure we avoid overfishing and mandatory rebuilding time lines have ensured that fisheries are rebuilt rather than letting time slide to take more fish. Further, those that say the MSA doesn't allow for innovation are misguided. The MSA gives regional decision-makers the flexibility to inno- vate in a big way. For example, during NOAA's 2018 National Recreational Fishing Summit and the 2018 Southern New England Recreational Fishing Symposium (sponsored by the R.I. Saltwater Anglers Association), every improvement that was suggested can be made under present MSA law with- out any additional changes. These innovations included improv- ing data with electronic recording of recreational catch and effort and building climate change into allocation models. This is particularly important for Rhode Island, as climate change has impacted the distribution of species such as black sea bass and summer flounder. Another innovation recom- mended was an aggressive roll-out of ecosystem-based management as well as recognizing the important role for- age fish, such as Atlantic menhaden, play, like serving as food for striped bass, bluefish, tuna, whales and osprey. With these innovations possible under present MSA law, and the law working to rebuild fish stocks, we need to oppose two MSA bills in Congress, one in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 200) and one in the Senate (S.1520). Both of these bills threaten our fisheries and would set us back decades in fisheries manage- ment. For example, H.R. 200 would not require the rebuilding of depleted stocks quickly, and S.1520 would cre- ate confusion around whether science- based annual catch limits, which help keep catch at sustainable levels, would be necessary for recreational fishing. Rather than gutting the conservation measures in MSA that work, Congress needs to protect the longevity of our fisheries. Rhode Island Senators Whitehouse and Reed should oppose S.1520 and prevent it from moving any further through the legislative process. Additionally, in the House, we urge our Congressman to likewise oppose H.R. 200. The MSA makes sure that when I take my family and friends out fish- ing, there are fish in the water for us to catch. We must be good stewards of this resource if future generations are going to have the same opportunity and to do that, we can't allow special interest groups to sacrifice that future for short-term profits. DOUG MACPHERSON Fisherman Doug MacPherson is a Pawtucket resi- dent and serves on the board of the R.I. Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) and heads up their legislative watch efforts. The above views are not necessarily those of the RISAA board. Hampton Inn Pawtucket receives 2018 TripAdvisor award PAWTUCKET – Hampton Inn Pawtucket has received a 2018 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence. The award celebrates hospitality businesses that have consistently deliv- ered a quality customer experience and earned great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor over the past year. The Certificate of Excellence considers the quality, quantity and most recent reviews submitted by travelers from around the globe on TripAdvisor. In addition to positive online guest reviews, hotels must have maintained an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have had a minimum number of reviews and have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. "We are honored to be awarded with the Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor for our commitment to customer satisfaction," said Hampton Inn general manager Mark Poole. "I am extremely proud of our team for consistently delivering exceptional ser- vice, and we appreciate our guests for recognizing our efforts." BUSINESS Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor are welcome from readers. Please: • Limit to 500 words. Longer letters may appear online only. • Letters on local or state topics and issues will take precedence over those on national issues. • No more than one letter per person every 8 weeks, please. • All letters must be signed and include a hometown. Send by e-mail to: news@valleybreeze.com, or mail to The Valley Breeze, 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite 204, Lincoln, RI 02865.

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