JONES TAKES ACTIONS TO LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD FOR ENC SHARK FISHERMEN

Mar 15, 2018 Issues: Fishing

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) is working again to level the playing field for Eastern North Carolina shark fishermen.  This week, Congressman Jones joined his friend and colleague, Congressman Dan Webster (FL-11), in introducing H.R. 5248, the Sustainable Shark Fisheries and Trade Act. The bill would hold other nations to the same conservation and management standards that America has adopted in our shark fisheries. Under H.R. 5248, any nation seeking to export shark products to America must receive certification from the Secretary of Commerce that it has an effective ban on the practice of “shark finning,” and that it has a similar conservation and management program for sharks, skates, and rays. The bill also increases traceability of imported shark products. 

“If foreign countries are failing to manage their shark populations appropriately, they should change their ways,” said Congressman Jones.  “They shouldn’t be allowed to dump unsustainably harvested shark product on our market, and our legal, sustainable American harvesters should not be penalized for the shortcomings of foreign fishermen.”

America has been a global leader in protecting shark species while allowing a sustainable harvest.  In fact, U.S. federal law mandates that the domestic shark fishery be managed sustainably.  According to renowned shark scientist, Dr. Robert E. Heuter of Florida’s Mote Marine Lab, America has “one of the best systems in the world for shark fisheries management and conservation.”  The proof can be seen in NOAA Fisheries own data.  NOAA Fisheries’ 2015 coastal shark survey captured and tagged “more than 2,800 sharks, the most in the survey’s 29-year history.”  The leader of the survey stated that NOAA Fisheries has “seen an increase in the number of sharks in every survey since 2001,” and the agency called the survey results “very good news for shark populations.”

H.R. 5248 is supported by the North Carolina Fisheries Association, Southeastern Fisheries Association, Blue Water Fishermen’s Association, Sustainable Shark Alliance, Garden State Seafood Association, and the Louisiana Shrimpers Association.

Congressman Jones has long been a strong supporter and advocate for Eastern North Carolina fishermen.

For additional information, please contact Allison Tucker in Congressman Walter Jones’ office at Allison.tucker@mail.house.gov or (202) 225-3415.
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