FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 29, 2014
Contact: Matt McCullough
SOUTHERLAND TAKES LEADING ROLE IN FISHERIES REAUTHORIZATION
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, II took a leading role today in the House Natural Resources Committee’s approval of legislation reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the primary law governing America’s fisheries. The committee approved on a bipartisan basis five Southerland amendments injecting common sense into fishery data collection and fishery disaster declarations.
“Today’s votes in committee were the first step in ensuring our fishermen have a voice in establishing any new catch share programs, while addressing inflexibility in rebuilding plans and moving us closer to a data collection solution,” said Southerland. “At a time when our coastal communities are suffering due to flawed fishery management based on inadequate science, I am pleased this bill puts us on a path to a more common sense approach that addresses the problems we currently face in the Gulf of Mexico. I look forward to ensuring our fishermen’s interests are addressed as I work with members of both parties to pass a Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization in the House this year.”
The Southerland provisions approved by the committee would:
· Direct the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to issue a fishery disaster determination within 90 days of receiving a request;
· Ensure that the tens of thousands of red snapper killed by rig removal explosions, also known as “Idle Iron,” are not counted against the annual catch limit for Gulf fishermen;
· Ensure that red snapper confiscated from illegal foreign poachers are not counted against the total allowable catch for American fishermen;
· Prohibit the harvest rights of fish allocated for public consumption to be traded away from the commercial sector by sale or lease.