Jones continues efforts to block catch-shares funding
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
“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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