Oct 9 2015

Bill to Make Tri-State West Coast Dungeness Fishery Management Permanent Clears House

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Seafood News

A bill that will permanently allow Washington, Oregon and California state fishery managers to jointly manage the West Coast Dungeness crab fishery cleared its first hurdle in Congress this week.

HR 2168, the West Coast Dungeness Crab Management Act, proposed by US Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) and backed by state Senator Maria Cantwell, passed the US House this week and will now go up for Senate approval.

If approved, the law will allow Washington, Oregon and California to continue their work– at a state level–to manage the West Coast Dungeness Crab Fishery.

The bill actually extends a measure approved in 1996 that allowed the three states to work with the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission to manage the stocks and conduct fishery science. It represented a unique marriage of state and federal fishery management.

The 1996 accord is set to expire in 2016, but Beutler’s proposal would make the state and federal pact permanent.

“The successful, two decades-old tri-state Dungeness crab management agreement will expire the on September 30, 2016. This bill simply makes that working management authority between Washington, Oregon, and California permanent,” said Beutler.

This bill will now go before Congress where some industry sources say it has a 68 percent chance of approval.


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