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JONES LEADS EFFORT TO REFORM FEDERAL FISHERIES MANAGEMENT
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today U.S. Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) led a bipartisan group of 20 of his House colleagues in calling on the House Natural Resources Committee to move legislation to reform federal fisheries law as quickly as possible. The call comes after the Committee held a December hearing on several fishing reform bills which shed light on many of the problems with the current Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Management Act. It also comes after an estimated 2,000 fishermen from around the country came to Capitol Hill last month for a “Keep Fishermen Fishing” rally to demand that federal fishing laws be changed.
In a letter to House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings and Ranking Member Ed Markey, Jones and his colleagues stated that “legislative action on fisheries management reform cannot wait. Fishermen in this country are hurting badly due in large part to flaws in federal fisheries law and the implementation of that law. The tragedy is that much of the economic plight of these fishermen is totally unnecessary for adequate protection of fish stocks. Congress can, and must, do a better job of providing a statutory framework that will yield both healthy fish stocks AND healthy fishing communities.”
“I am grateful to my colleagues for joining this effort,” said Congressman Jones. “Clearly, the Magnuson Act isn’t working for a great number of fishermen and their families in North Carolina and across this nation. This country desperately needs good paying jobs, and that is what this is all about. Fishermen cannot afford to wait years for relief, they need it now.”
Joining Congressman Jones in sending the letter to the House Natural Resources Committee were Republicans Jon Runyan (NJ-3), David Rivera (FL-25), Bill Posey (FL-15), Allen West (FL-22), Frank Guinta (NH-1), Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-2), Christopher H. Smith (NJ-4), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18), Sandy Adams (FL-24), Steve Southerland (FL-2), John L. Mica (FL-7), Thomas J. Rooney (FL-16), Richard B. Nugent (FL-5) and Robert Turner (NY-9); and Democrats Barney Frank (MA-4), John F. Tierney (MA-6), Timothy H. Bishop (NY-1), Frank Pallone (NJ-6), Mike McIntyre (NC-7) and William R. Keating (MA-10).