Joins Members of House and Senate to Protest Unfair Catch Shares and Limits
On Wednesday, Congressman Tim Bishop and twelve House and Senate Members met with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco to express unified opposition to onerous new regulations proposed for the Northeast fishing industry.
The proposed new regulations would change how the total annual catch is divided among members of the fishing industry while simultaneously reducing the annual catch limits for individual species such as winter flounder.
"These catch shares and low catch limits could spell disaster for Long Island fishermen," said Bishop. "Long Island's fishermen have been around for generations and understand the value of sustainability. But these limits would drive them out of business. I will continue to fight with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for a fair deal for all Northeast fishermen."
The meeting was called in response to a strongly-worded April 21st letter to Secretary Locke opposing the new regulations, which Bishop signed. The Congressional delegation attending the meeting released the following joint statement:
"We would like to express to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke our strong disagreement with the National Marine Fisheries Service scheduled implementation of 2010 catch limits, which would impose sharp reductions from 2009 allocation limits. We unanimously believe that the catch limits for so-called "choke stocks," including yellowtail flounder, winter flounder, and pollock must be increased. In addition, we call on the Administration to provide economic assistance to the fishing industry during this crisis, and to require cooperative research efforts to ensure fair assessments of fish stocks."
The following Members attended Wednesday's meeting:
Congressman Tim Bishop (D-NY)
Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA)
Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT)
Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH)
Congressman John Tierney (D-MA)
Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI)
Senator John Kerry (D-MA)
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
Senator Scott Brown (R-MA)
Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY)
Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)
Senator Whitehouse (D-RI)