The American Fisheries Society (AFS) urges Congress and the White House to work together in a bipartisan manner to reach an agreement on fiscal year 2019 appropriations to end the partial government shutdown and allow natural resource agencies that support important fisheries research and management to resume operations.
The shutdown is negatively affecting many federal natural resource agencies, scientists who work at those agencies, as well as the science community at large. These agencies fund the work of their staff scientists who work collaboratively with other researchers, operate facilities that are critical to fisheries research, and make grants to academic and other nongovernmental organizations. Important monitoring, data collection, and research to inform management, along with education and training of natural resource professionals, is disrupted and delayed with each additional day that these agencies are shuttered. Projects that states, non-profits, and private landowners have planned for years alongside the federal government are in limbo, delaying important conservation work. In addition, management functions such as commercial fishing stock assessments, permits, and quota management are at a standstill.
We are aware of the personal and professional hardships AFS members and other scientists have experienced as a result of the U.S. federal government’s partial shutdown. Fisheries professionals ranging from experienced managers to early career scientists across the nation are being forced to deplete their savings to make ends meet instead of putting their skills to work. The Society is working alongside other scientific societies to urge policymakers to reopen shuttered government agencies as soon as possible.
AFS is the world’s oldest and largest professional society of fishery and aquatic scientists and managers. The Society seeks to improve the conservation and sustainability of fishery resources and aquatic ecosystems by advancing fisheries and aquatic science and promoting the development of fisheries professionals.