Mar 23, 2012 Issues: Fishing
Rep. Jones speaks at Keep Fisherman Fishing Rally

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) spoke to a crowd of roughly 2,000 fishermen from across the country at the “Keep Fishermen Fishing” rally.  The commercial and recreational fishermen gathered next to the U.S. Capitol to support fisheries management reform.  The demonstration emphasized the need for a variety of changes in federal fishing law, with particular emphasis on rebuilding flexibility, blocking new catch share programs and greater transparency and accountability at NOAA Fisheries and the Regional Fishery Management Councils.

“Fisheries reform cannot wait,” said Jones.  “Fishermen in North Carolina and across this nation our struggling mightily because the government is unnecessarily regulating them to the brink of bankruptcy.  At a time of persistently high unemployment, that’s just unacceptable.  Congress has got to step up to the plate and change the law to provide a statutory framework that will yield both healthy fish stocks and healthy fishing communities.” 

Jones was among several legislators who gave remarks at the rally, including: Senators Charles Schumer (NY) and John Kerry (MA) and Representatives Sandy Adams (FL), Gus Bilirakis (FL), Alan West (FL), Barney Frank (MA), John Tierney (MA), Tim Scott (SC), Steve Southerland (FL), David Rivera (FL), Frank LoBiondo (NJ), John Runyan (NJ), Bill Keating (MA).  Jones also spoke individually with fishermen from Dare and Carteret Counties before and after his remarks at the rally.

Congressman Jones has been a national leader in fighting for reform of America’s fishing laws.  He was the original author of legislative language to provide flexibility in rebuilding fish stocks.  He was also the leader of a successful effort in 2011 to block funding for new catch programs on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.  And he helped lead the push that resulted in the Inspector General investigation into NOAA Fisheries’ overzealous law enforcement tactics.