A total of 26 members of Congress, including Rep. John Tierney, have urged the House Appropriations Committee to reject funding for new catch share fishery management programs in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico until the House Natural Resources Committee completes its rewrite of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
The committee has held a preliminary oversight hearing on the law establishing the overriding principles of fishing governance by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the Exclusive Economic Zone, which was created by the original Magnuson Act in 1976 and extends beyond state waters three miles from shore for another 200 miles.
But because of its size, complexity and fiercely debated elements, the completion of the rewrite is not expected anytime soon, and NOAA, after instituting a catch share program in the Northeast groundfishery in 2010, has a number of new catch share programs in various phases of rollout in the Northeast, the South Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico.
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