RFA Urges Nonpartisan Vote on HR 4742


The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a full committee markup on Thursday morning at 10 a.m. at the Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. The full committee is expected to vote on HR 4742, a bill introduced by Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) to improve and strengthen many provisions of the current Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

The “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act” would provide greater deadline flexibility in rebuilding fish stocks, modify annual catch limit and accountability measures to allow anglers access while fish stocks improve, better distinguish between overfished and depleted fisheries, while providing improved transparency and public process.

The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) supports HR 4742, and is urging committee members to vote in favor of the bill on Thursday morning.

“A vote against this bill is a vote against America’s fishermen and fishing communities,” said RFA executive director Jim Donofrio. “Any committee member voting against this bill, whatever their party, is voting against his hometown fishermen.”

Donofrio and the RFA have testified numerous times before the House Natural Resources Committee in favor of greater management flexibility on both rebuilt and rebuilding fish stocks. In meeting the organizational mission to safeguard the rights of saltwater anglers, protect marine, boat and tackle industry jobs and ensure the long-term sustainability of U.S. saltwater fisheries, Donofrio said the Hastings legislation being voted upon in the committee on Thursday represents the best interests of the fish, the fishermen and the coastal fishing industry.

RFA is also urging committee members to incorporate an amendment by senior member Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) that would implement a grant program to allow states to improve recreational data collection at the state level, while incorporating a National Research Council review of the current angler harvest methodologies used by the Department of Commerce.

“It’s too early to go against a good bill that gets fishermen fishing again, so there shouldn’t be any no votes on this bill on Thursday,” Donofrio said. “The House Natural Resources Committee has a chance to set a real bipartisan tone this week which we hope can send a very strong message to the Senate.”

To view the full committee markup on May 29 starting at 10 a.m. go to http://naturalresources.house.gov/calendar.

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