Representative Steve Southerland, II introduced legislation this week to remedy longstanding concerns with the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the federal policy that administers America's fisheries. H.R. 6350, the Transparent and Science-Based Fishery Management Act of 2012, will address inequities in annual catch limits, catch shares in the Gulf of Mexico, rebuilding flexibility, NOAA enforcement, and disaster assistance, among other issues.
"I have heard from anglers from across North and Northwest Florida who have asked me to act as their voice in Washington," Southerland said. "I am pleased to be part of this important effort to make federal fisheries policy more responsive to the needs of our recreational and commercial fishermen. By improving methods for setting annual catch limits, prohibiting the expansion of catch share programs without a referendum, and strengthening accountability measures for federal officials who collect fisheries data and determine disaster assistance, this legislation empowers our fishermen and strengthens our coastal economies."
Joining Southerland as original cosponsors of H.R. 6350 are Reps. David Rivera, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Jon Runyan, Frank LoBiondo, and Frank Guinta.