April 19, 2013
Jones continues efforts to block catch-shares funding

U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., is continuing his effort to block funding for approval of new fisheries catch-shares programs in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. 

On Tuesday, April 16, Jones and a bipartisan group of 24 of his House colleagues sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee asking them to eliminate funding for new catch-shares programs in the fiscal year 2014 appropriations bill for the Department of Commerce.  The committee is expected to take up the bill later this spring.

Congressman Jones’ latest push comes after he successfully led an effort to secure similar language in the fiscal year 2011 spending bill for the Department of Commerce.  Related efforts on the fiscal year 2012 and 2013 spending bills were successful in the House, but ultimately defeated by the Democrat-controlled Senate. 

In its FY14 budget request to Congress, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which is an arm of the federal Department of Commerce, has requested more than $28 million for its National Catch Share Program.  The agency intends to spend an undisclosed, but significant, portion of that money on implementing new catch-shares programs.   Extensive research on these programs has shown that they destroy fishing jobs and fishing communities and do little to protect fish stocks. 

“NMFS needs to focus on growing the economy, not the unemployment line,” said Congressman Jones.  “Eastern North Carolina fishermen have made it clear to me that they do not support catch shares.  I am proud to continue to stand with North Carolina fishermen against a federal government that is trying to put many of them out of business.”   

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