requests action on fisheries reform bills
two separate letters sent last week, Congressman Walter B. Jones,
R-N.C., urged the House Natural Resources Committee to quickly move
several fisheries reform bills through the committee and on to the
These bills include Congressman Jones’ H.R.
2753 – the Fishery Management Transparency and Accountability Act, in
addition to other bills that Congressman Jones is a lead co-sponsor of,
such as H.R. 2772 – the Saving Fisheries Jobs Act; H.R. 3061 – the
Flexibility and Access in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act; and H.R.
2610 – the Asset Forfeiture Fund Reform Act. These bills were
subject of a committee hearing on Dec. 1, at which Jones
“Every fisherman I talk to believes there are
major problems with the way our fisheries are managed,” said
Jones. “Many of the bills examined at the Dec. 1 hearing
if passed – go a long way toward fixing those problems. Everyone
acknowledges that this country needs jobs, and that’s exactly what
these bills are about. Fishermen in this country are hurting
badly. They can’t afford to wait years for relief; they need
The bills are:
- H.R. 2753 –
The Fishery Management
Transparency and Accountability Act – would require the federal
Regional Fishery Management Councils to broadcast their meetings live
over the Internet and to make recordings of their proceedings available
to the public for three years.
- H.R. 2772 –
The Saving Fisheries
Jobs Act – would mandate that no new catch share program could be
imposed on any fishery on the Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico unless
a two-thirds majority of fishermen in that fishery approve the program,
and would close any newly established catch share program if it puts 15
percent or more of fishermen out of business.
- H.R. 3061 –
The Flexibility and Access in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act – would
amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Management Act to allow the 10-year
time period for rebuilding fisheries to be extended under certain
common-sense circumstances. In allowing such flexibility, the bill
would provide for timely restoration of healthy fisheries while also
preventing fishermen from being put out of business because of
rigid, arbitrary timelines contained in the Magnuson Act.
2610 – The Asset Forfeiture Fund Reform Act – would compensate and
protect the fishing industry from excessive fines, reform the Asset
Forfeiture Fund, and increase the role of the states in providing
of the letter that, Congressman Jon Runyan, R-N.J., and several others
sent to Chairman Hastings on H.R. 2772 can be viewed here.
A copy of the letter that
Congressman Jones sent to Chairman Hastings on H.R. 2753 and the other
bills can be viewed here.