Posts Tagged congress

Jan 31 2018

Washington Gov Urges Support for Sea Lion Control Bill in Congress

— Posted with permission of SEAFOODNEWS.COM. Please do not republish without their permission. —

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Seafood News

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [TDN.COM] by Katy Sword – January 31, 2018


Gov. Jay Inslee is urging U.S. House representatives from Washington, Oregon and Idaho to support a bill penned by Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, that seeks to reduce sea lion predation on at-risk fish populations, including salmon and steelhead.

Inslee sent a letter to the Northwest delegation asking for support Friday with the support of Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter.

“Although several hundred million dollars are invested annually to rebuild these native fish runs, their health and sustainability is threatened unless Congress acts to enhance protection from increasing sea lion predation,” the letter reads. “It’s hard to imagine successful recovery of threatened and endangered fish populations with these high levels of interception by sea lions.”

Researchers estimate sea lions consume nearly 20 percent of the spring Chinook run, and a study by NOAA Fisheries found up to 45 percent of adult Chinook salmon disappear between Bonneville Dam and the estuary. Those loses are attributed to sea lion predation.

The bill, HR 2083, allows state, federal and tribal authorities to respond faster and more efficiently. Lethal removal is still limited in the bill.

“I am pleased to see bipartisan support for my bill continue to grow,” Herrera Beutler said in a statement. “As the governors stated in their letter, we must act to protect our native Columbia River salmon and steelhead. I am hopeful that the senators from Oregon and Washington will also join in supporting this bill to successfully move it through Congress.”

Inslee, Brown and Otter wrote that they hope the two chambers can come to an agreement on the bill and implement it with bipartisan support.

“No one wants to harm these great marine mammals, but effectively dealing with a small fraction of the healthy sea lion population is preferable to losing unique and irreplaceable species of salmon,” the letter concludes.

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May 3 2013

NOAA issues status of stocks report; overfishing continues to decline in US

Seafood News



SEAFOOD.COM NEWS  by John Sackton May 2, 2013

NOAA released its 2012 status of the stocks report to Congress this morning, showing continued progress in eliminating overfishing and rebuilding stocks in the U.S.

Overfishing declined 30% between 2011 and 2012.  In 2011, 14% of the stocks where NOAA has data were being overfished.  In 2012, that percentage dropped to 10%.

Once overfishing is ended, a stock will typically recover to its MSY biomass.  Stocks are classified as overfished when they are below the level needed to sustain harvests at the Maximum sustainable yield level.  The number of stocks classified as overfished dropped from 21% to 19%, a decline of 10%.

Acting Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries Sam Rauch said “It was another record-setting year for  our marine fisheries. Today, we are reporting that six more stocks were declared rebuilt in 2012, bringing the total number of stocks rebuilt since 2000 to 32. This year’s rebuilt stocks include Southern Tanner crab, Acadian redfish, windowpane, yellowtail flounder, coho salmon, and pink shrimp. ”

“In addition, overfishing is at an all-time low with 10 additional stocks removed from the overfishing list since last year.  The details behind these record-setting trends are included in NOAA Fisheries’ new 2012 Report on the Status of U.S. Fisheries which is available online.

He also noted “It is critical that we recognize the sacrifices that have been made and will be made to achieve these gains.”  So far, Congress has been very reluctant to acknowledge that the gains in fisheries sustainability have a price that has been borne almost exclusively by the seafood industry.



Apr 13 2012

House Panel Drafting Magnuson Reforms

By Richard Gaines | Staff Writer

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee is drafting “a comprehensive” change to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, a fisheries management law, in an attempt to ensure that NOAA makes “informed decisions based on sufficient scientific information,” Chairman Doc Hastings has told the Times.

Incorporating elements from a suite of eight bills vetted by the committee last December, the federal legislation has been in construction by committee staff for some time — before a national fishermen’s rally at the Capitol last month and an April 3 letter to the committee from 21 House members. Those signers included John Tierney, who represents Cape Ann, and Barney Frank, whose district includes New Bedford.

A mix of about two dozen federal lawmakers of both parties and houses of Congress including Sens. John Kerry and Scott Brown, spoke to the rally of the need for writing flexibility into the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

Along with rewriting parts of and writing inserts to Magnuson, the committee is reported to be struggling with the problem of trying to fix misinterpretations of the overriding fisheries management law by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Crystal Feldman, the committee press secretary, said some problems with fisheries management have been created by NOAA’s interpretation of the law and not necessarily by the law itself, and that is harder to fix legislatively.

Similar complaints are at the core of a lawsuit initiated by the fishing ports of New Bedford and Gloucester and industry interests from Maine to North Carolina. That appeal is now before the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.

Read the rest of the article on Gloucester Times.
Apr 25 2011

Congress Defunds Wasteful Catch Shares Program

Washington, DC – In a big victory for commercial and recreational fishermen, the U.S. Congress on April 14 voted to defund the “catch shares” program, a controversial and wasteful fisheries management fiasco.

Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch, said the program has been “blocking access to fish for thousands of smaller scale fishermen, destroying their livelihoods and our coastal and fishing communities.”

The widely-contested “catch shares” program on the East and West Coasts, a pet project of Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA administrator and also under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, serves to privatize public trust resources by concentrating ocean fisheries in a few corporate hands.

This amendment, offered by Representative Walter Jones of North Carolina, is part of the FY2011 budget that President Barack Obama signed into law on April 15.

Read the rest of the story here.