HOPE ON THE MAGNUSON-STEVENS ACT FROM CONGRESS, MOSTLY FROM FLORIDA’S STEVE SOUTHERLAND

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 29, 2014
Contact: Matt McCullough
(202) 225-5235

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.

About MikeH

Texas hunter and fisherman for 50 years, published outdoor writer since 1979, licensed charter boat operator from 1982 to 2013. Past Member, Board of Directors, National Association of Charterboat Operators, current member Environmental Advisory Committee to the DOE and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Married to Dorothy since 2000, one son, Michael who is recently married and living in Nederland, Texas. My wife and I live in Oyster Creek, Texas, near Freeport, and have a hunting property outside of Brazoria, Texas.
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