July 14, 2016 — The following was released by the National Coalition for Fishing Communities:
WASHINGTON (NCFC) — The U.S. House of Representatives made a strong statement against the declaration of marine monuments last night, passing an amendment offered by Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-New York) to bar funding for the designation of any National Marine Monuments by the President. The amendment to H.R. 5538, the Fiscal Year 2017 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill, passed the House by a vote of 225-202. Congressman Zeldin represents a coastal district and the fishing hub of eastern Long Island, N.Y.
Yesterday, National Coalition for Fishing Communities (NCFC) members the Garden State Seafood Association (NJ), the Red Crab Harvesters Association (MA), the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, and Blue Water Fisheries Inc. (NY) asked fellow NCFC members to reach out to their representatives to support the amendment. The Montauk Tilefish Association (NY) and the Monkfish Defense Fund joined them in calling for support for the amendment.
Mr. Zeldin explained that he offered the amendment to keep commercial fishermen from losing access to important fishing areas through Marine Monument Designations. Opposition to the amendment was led by Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (D-Massachusetts) and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine).