Oversight Field Hearing on "Fishing = Jobs: How Strengthening America’s Fisheries Strengthens Our Economy"
Saturday, August 25, 2012 10:00 AM
Full Committee
The Lecture Hall at the Holley Academic Center Florida State University – Panama City, 4750 Collegiate Drive, Panama City, Florida 32405


COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES
The Lecture Hall at the Holley Academic Center Florida State University – Panama City
4750 Collegiate Drive, Panama City, Florida 32405
Saturday, August 25, 2012
10:00 a.m. Central Time

  • Press Release - Witnesses Agree Federal Fishery Management is Flawed: Fishery Health, Small Businesses, Local Economies Hurt by Federal Overregulation, Lack of Accurate Data (8/25/2012)
  • Key Issue - President Obama's National Ocean Policy
  • Official Hearing Transcript

OVERSIGHT FIELD HEARING ON:

  • "Fishing = Jobs: How Strengthening America’s Fisheries Strengthens Our Economy"
Watch the Archived Hearing Webcast:

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OPENING STATEMENT:

The Honorable Doc Hastings
Chairman

WITNESSES AND TESTIMONY:

Panel I

Kenneth Wright
Chairman
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Pamela Anderson
Operations Manager
Capt. Anderson’s Marina
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Donald A. Waters
Commercial Fisherman
Pensacola, Florida
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Captain William Kelly
Executive Director
Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Panel II:

Candace Hansard
Vice President and Reef Deployment Director
Emerald Coast Reef Association
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Captain Tom Adams
Mexico Beach Charters
Chair, Recreational Fishing Alliance - Forgotten Coast Chapter
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Captain Michael Jennings
President
Charter Fishermen’s Association
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Captain Robert Zales, II
President
National Association of Charterboat Operators
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Panel III:

Dr. Richard Merrick
Director of Scientific Programs & Chief Scientific Advisor
National Marine Fisheries Service

BACKGROUND:

The health of the Gulf of Mexico and its fishery resources affect the entire economy of Florida. Florida’s fisheries create and support thousands of jobs throughout the State and contribute to local businesses through hotel, restaurant, and bait store expenditures from out-of-state anglers. A U.S. Census Bureau report found that 2.8 million residents and non-resident anglers contributed $4.3 billion to Florida’s economy in fishing–related expenditures in 2006. Commercial fishing also plays a large role in sustaining Florida’s economy. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the economic impact of the commercial fishing industry was an additional $5.6 billion in 2008. The Committee has identified a number of challenges and impediments to fully utilizing the fishery resources of the Gulf of Mexico. The field hearing will give Members an opportunity to get a more detailed view of these challenges by examining: whether outdated scientific information available to fishery managers is limiting harvest levels; whether governmental restrictions on the harvest of fishery resources are necessary; and to what extent governmental programs - including catch shares, annual catch limits, and the National Ocean Policy - will affect how fisheries are harvested in the future.

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