On Thursday Congressman Jon Runyan (R-NJ), along with Representatives Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Frank Guinta (R-NH), and Sandy Adams (R-FL), sent a letter to President Obama urging him to reconsider the use of catch share programs for commercial and recreational fishermen.
"Excessive government regulations have played a large role in our continued economic crisis," stated Rep. Runyan. "One of these excessive regulations is the catch share programs for fishermen. These programs have proven to decrease the number of fishing boats, which can have long lasting unintended economic consequences, including the loss of jobs in the fishing industry. There are other options to maintain a healthy fish supply. We are asking the President and his administration to look at these other tools as a way of preserving the generations old fishing tradition in many coastal areas and all the jobs associated with this industry."
Since being elected to Congress, Rep. Runyan has been an advocate for the fishing industry, including introducing the bi-partisan Saving Fishing Jobs Act of 2011, which seeks to hold the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration accountable for catch share programs that have been detrimental to the fishing industry in coastal communities up and down the eastern seaboard.
The efforts by Representatives Runyan, LoBiondo, Ros-Letinen, Guinta and Adams have the support of many outside organizations. "This letter expresses the concern of fishermen and coastal communities throughout the entire East Coast, many of which have already been burdened by the cost of previous excessive regulations and do not believe they can continue to operate with the current catch share approach that in many cases is not necessary," stated Greg DiDomenico, the Executive Director of the Garden State Seafood Association.
"I look forward to sharing the President's response to the thousands of fishermen in my district and across the country," said Rep. Runyan.