amendment blocks catch shares
Congress approved legislation on Thursday, April 14, to fund the
government for the rest of Fiscal Year 2011, which includes a version
of an amendment offered by Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., to block
funding for approval of new fisheries catch shares programs.
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) had proposed to spend $36
million to institute new catch share programs, which opponents say
would destroy commercial and fishing jobs and communities across the
The Jones amendment to block this funding was originally approved by
the House on Feb. 19 with an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 259 to
The language will prohibit the federal government from using any Fiscal
Year 2011 funds to approve new catch shares programs for fisheries
along the Eastern Seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico.
The House of Representatives and the Senate passed the bill yesterday,
and it is expected to be signed into law by President Barak Obama
“This is a shot in the arm for fishermen and a shot across the bow of
the National Marine Fisheries Service,” said Jones. “The last
thing our government should be doing in these economic times is
spending millions of taxpayer dollars to expand programs that will put
even more Americans out of work. NMFS would be wise to take
of the opposition of fishermen, the public and the Congress to their
catch shares agenda; we’re not going away.”
The language to defund catch shares is supported by a broad coalition
of fishermen, consumer organizations, boat builders and communities
from around the country including the Recreational Fishing Alliance,
American Sportfishing Association, National Marine Manufacturers
Association, Saving Seafood, Southern Shrimp Alliance, Commercial
Fishermen of America, Southeast Fisheries Association, North Carolina
Fisheries Association, Garden State Seafood Association, Florida Keys
Fishermen’s Association, Long Island (NY) Fishermen’s Association and
Food & Water Watch.
Many members of Congress and senators from both parties joined
Congressman Jones in advocating for this language, including Reps.
Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Frank Pallone, D-N.J., as well as Sens.
Scott Brown, R-Mass., Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and others.