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Press Release

Fishermen Need More Flexibility than NOAA Doles Out

Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced a new rule that will provide regional fishery management councils with more flexibility in catch limits. The rule is aligned with a provision in the Committee’s H.R. 1335 (Rep. Don Young, R-AK), the “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act.”

House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement:

“It is disappointing that NOAA's rule, which follows Congress' lead to enact common sense legislation to give more flexibility to regional fishery councils, comes in the ninth inning of the last game of the administration's horrible season. This signals that regional management has not been a priority for them, even though it is critical for the domestic seafood industry. Allowing the regional councils flexibility such as this is a cornerstone of H.R. 1335, and this rule further underscores the need for Senate action on this legislation.

“What our fishing communities need is statutory certainty, not unpredictable rules that can change from one administration to the next. Without an updated statute that offers the force of law, regulatory uncertainty in this area and others pose unnecessary barriers to the industry’s growth and job creation.”

Background: H.R. 1335 will reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the primary law governing fisheries resource management in offshore federal waters. The Committee passed the bill on April 30, 2015 and the House passed it on June 1, 2015.

Click here to learn more about H.R. 1335.