Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), whose Congressional District includes coastal Southeast Florida and the Florida Keys, voted for an amendment that would prohibit federal funds from being used to develop new catch shares programs in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic.
The Southerland Amendment was approved and is now part of the CJS appropriations bill that funds the Commerce and Justice Departments and other federal agencies.
Said Ros-Lehtinen, "American families are struggling in this dismal economy, and this is especially true for our small commercial fishermen. While I agree that we must assure that future generations have access to the same kind of fisheries that we do, I do not accept the premise that we must do this on the backs of our fishermen.
This amendment will assure that not one penny of federal funds will be used to develop new catch shares jurisdictions. This is not the right balance between fish stock sustainability and the economic concerns of the fishermen. We can and must do better. I look forward to continue working with my colleagues on this important issue."