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Hastings: Imperial President Moves Forward with Ocean Zoning


WASHINGTON, D.C., June 17, 2014 -

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) released the following statement regarding President Obama’s announcement of overreaching Executive action to unilaterally lock-up huge portions of the Pacific Ocean:

"For years the Obama Administration has threatened to impose ocean zoning to shut down our oceans, and today the President is making good on that threat.  This is yet another example of how an Imperial President is intent on taking unilateral action, behind closed doors, to impose new regulations and layers of restrictive red-tape.  Oceans, like our federal lands, are intended to be multiple-use and open for a wide range of economic activities that includes fishing, recreation, conservation, and energy production.  It appears this Administration will use whatever authorities – real or made-up – to close our ocean and coastal areas with blatant disregard for possible economic consequences.

This Administration is creating an unworkable patchwork of management regimes that will hurt our economy and further strain our enforcement capabilities.  The State Department just completed negotiating several science-based international fishery management agreements in the Pacific and is working on changes to an existing international agreement to allow U.S. tuna boats to have access to waters in the South Pacific.  This announcement undercuts all of that work and will likely make the U.S. tuna fleet even less viable, meaning in the not-too-distant future all of America’s tuna will be caught by foreign vessels.”

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