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Pallone Praises Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council for Its Action to Create Greater Flexibility in How Mid Atlantic Fisheries Are Managed

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

In a letter sent June, 14, 2013, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06)

applauded the Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council for taking action that will create flexibility in how the recreational fishing industry in the Mid Atlantic is managed. The Council voted in June to approve the Omnibus Recreational Accountability Measure Amendment to its Fisheries Management Plan, and the measure now waits for final approval from the National Atmospheric and Oceanographic Administration (NOAA) before it can take into effect.

"As New Jersey, New York and other East Coast states work to rebuild and recover from Superstorm Sandy it is important that we continue to explore options for promoting economic vitality while conserving our coastal and marine resources," Pallone stated in the letter. "I applaud the Council for taking action that will create flexibility in how the recreational fishing industry in the Mid Atlantic is managed and ensure more reasonable outcomes."

As a member of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs, Congressman Pallone has called for reforms in federal law to help New Jersey's recreational and commercial fishermen who can face restrictions in their catch limits based on insufficient data and poor science. Pallone has also introduced legislation to provide supplemental emergency aid to help the fishing industry recoup from Superstorm Sandy.

Full text on Pallone's letter to the Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council follows:

June 14, 2013

Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council
Chairman
Rick Robins
800 North State St.
Dover, DE 19901

Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council
Executive Director
Chris Moore
800 North State St.
Dover, DE 19901

Dear Chairman Robins and Mr. Moore:

I write to express my appreciation for the action taken by the Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) in approving an Omnibus Recreational Accountability Measure Amendment during your council meeting this past week. I believe that the action taken by the Council will lead to more equitable fisheries management and will enhance the ability of the recreational fishing industry to be an economic driver for the region.

The amendment will allow the Council to evaluate alternatives to the accountability measures currently in place for species that are vital to the recreational sector. I have argued that accountability measures often taken too hard of a toll on fishermen by limiting access to the fishery without adequate timely and scientific justification. The Council is clearly being responsive to these concerns shared by fishermen and addressing them in a responsible way.

I have also proposed allowing for flexibility in management when a species is rebuilt and there is a lack of scientific information that makes accurate management problematic. Therefore, I am glad to see the Council take into account the status of a stock when evaluating payback measures that require a reduction in quota when an overage in harvest has occurred in the prior year.

As New Jersey, New York and other East Coast states work to rebuild and recover from Superstorm Sandy it is important that we continue to explore options for promoting economic vitality while conserving our coastal and marine resources. I applaud the Council for taking action that will create flexibility in how the recreational fishing industry in the Mid Atlantic is managed and ensure more reasonable outcomes.

As the Council submits the Omnibus Amendment to the National Atmospheric and Oceanographic Administration (NOAA) I intend to argue for its final approval. As a member of the Natural Resources Committee and the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife Oceans and Insular Affairs I believe it my responsibility to ensure that NOAA is responsive when the Council takes such appropriate steps.

I am also committed to continuing my efforts to reform the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson Act). I look forward to further evaluating the work of the Council and incorporating it into my work to see that the Magnuson Act reflects responsible conservation and fair management.

Thank you for your efforts and attention to my letter.

Sincerely,

FRANK PALLONE, JR.
Member of Congress


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