The Senate Commerce Committee is scheduled to mark up a slate of bills tomorrow, two of which concern our nation’s fisheries.

First, the Committee will consider legislation relating to genetically engineered salmon, which has widely been dubbed ‘Frankenfish’. In response to wide-spread concerns expressed by consumer advocates and commercial fishermen—including those in his home state of Alaska—Senator Begitch (D-AK) introduced legislation last October (S. 1717) that would regulate the interstate sale of any genetically altered marine fish. The substitute amendment being considered tomorrow will seek to ensure that sale of any such GE fish does not proceed before full expert, science-based review is conducted on potential adverse impacts escapements could have on ocean ecosystems.

Secondly, the Committee will consider the Pirate Fishing Elimination Act (S.1980), which would help combat Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported fishing by implementing the 2009 Agreement on Port State Measures. The bill, introduced by Senator Inouye (D-HI), seeks to conserve the global ocean ecosystem while protecting US fishermen and consumers from the scourge of illegal fish in the US seafood supply chain.

The Marine Fish Conservation Network supports both bills.

The mark-up will begin at 2:30pm on Tuesday July 31, 2012. It will be held in 253 Russell.

Logo courtesy of the Marine Fish Conservation Network

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