Today, Congressman Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) is joining with Senator David Vitter in proposing the Offshore Fairness Act of 2013. This bill would prevent Washington from interfering with Louisiana fisheries by giving the state more control over its territorial waters. This would be especially beneficial for commercial fishers and recreational anglers who enjoy fishing for red snapper.
"This is yet another example of Washington dictating to the American people," said Congressman Cassidy. "We have heard countless instances of the federal government miscounting fish populations in the Gulf of Mexico and Southern Atlantic Ocean. This impacts how long fishing seasons last every year and thus the success of commercial fishers and recreational anglers."
Cassidy continued, "states along the Gulf and Southern Atlantic take pride in their waters and their rich recreational fishing culture. They are natural stewards of these waters and are already successful at managing fisheries under their control. This bill would extend the seaward boundary off the coastline of Louisiana and other affected states. Doing so would allow them to manage their own fish populations and make decisions that both protect their coasts and create jobs."
The Offshore Fairness Act of 2013 would extend jurisdiction for Louisiana and other states along the Gulf of Mexico and Southern Atlantic Ocean over their territorial waters to over ten miles. It also expands those states' control over their submerged continental shelf. This would enable those states to regulate the fish stocks in those areas without federal intervention. This includes the right to manage reef fisheries up to 200 miles off their coasts, which contain valuable red snapper populations. Finally, this expanded jurisdiction will greatly increase states' rights to energy resources within their new territory.