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Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LANDRY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

NOAA and the fishing industry have had a long history of working together. Since the 1990s, NOAA has worked with the fishing industry to develop a regulatory system that provides meaningful protection to turtles, while at the same time not economically harming our fishermen. Under the system, fishermen had agreed that they would periodically remove their nets from the water, allowing any turtles trapped in the net to escape. By offering to do so, they would not have to use the turtle exclusion devices.

Now NOAA intends to regulate these shrimpers and force them to use TEDs. The recent rulemaking negates this partnership and places the whims of environmentalists ahead of the scientific data or economic well-being of the fishermen in the coastal communities. There is no scientific data that's proving that the lack of the use of TEDs by shrimpers is causing any additional deaths in the turtle population.

Over 60 percent of the shrimp landed in Louisiana is by the inshore and near-shore fleet, which is primarily skimmers and butterflies. This regulation, if implemented, will affect thousands of fishermen in Louisiana. Fishermen will lose money due to the cost of TEDs equipment and also the money lost from loss of catch.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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