Skip to comments.Wittman's bill aims to reel in NOAA
Posted on 06/30/2011 8:15:12 PM PDT by smokingfrog
ABRUPT CLOSURES of popular ocean fisheries in recent years by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Marine Fisheries Service, some based on allegedly sketchy data, raised the ire of many anglers and conservation groups.
Rob Wittman, Virginia's 1st District representative in Congress, has crafted a widely endorsed bill that requires catch limits to be set based on sound science.
Wittman's Fishery Science Improvement Act, House Resolution 2304, was first briefed to legislators June 14. Now filed and assigned to the Committee on Natural Resources, the bill has 17 co-sponsors in Congress and is endorsed by the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus as well as several conservation, sport fishing and marine industry groups.
Protection against overfishing was a centerpiece of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act as amended in 2006. Annual catch limits and accountability measures are supposed to be in place for every fishery by the end of this year, but data reportedly is lacking for hundreds of fish species.
Sound science was supposed to support decision-making. Stock assessments of fish species and better catch data were needed. The saltwater angler registry, mandatory this year, was designed to help improve catch data, but that program is just getting off the ground. Previous survey methods, used in justifying closures, have many critics.
Wittman's bill has three key components.
(Excerpt) Read more at fredericksburg.com ...