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My family and I enjoy our natural resources and saltwater fishing is an important part of that enjoyment. We spend money to participate in fishing which helps to support our community, state, and country. We are very disturbed to hear that congress passed a law which is so restrictive that the National Marine Fisheries Service is required to implement severe reductions in our seasons and bag limits for several of the important fish we fish for. These restrictions are causing serious negative economic and social problems to our communities and people who depend on fishing activities.
Congressman Pallone from
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the reef fish fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic shall not be required to be rebuilt, and over-fishing ended, by a specific date provided that the annual level of fishing does not exceed the net reproduction rate for that fishery such that the fishery is rebuilding each year. If the objective set forth in this section is not met for any of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic reef fish fisheries in one year, the Secretary of Commerce shall adjust the fishing rate in that specific fishery in subsequent years to compensate for any overage.
We encourage you to support the draft legislative language that has been suggested by the Conservation Cooperative of Gulf Fishermen (CCGF) and several other associations that will allow for flexibility in the law which will allow the NMFS to ease up on their restrictions and allow us to fish and our communities to not be so severely impacted, while also working to rebuild and maintain fish stocks.