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<P class=MsoNormal style="BACKGROUND: #eeeeee; MARGIN: 0.1in 0in 0.2in; LINE-HEIGHT: 170%">5 March 2010<P class=MsoNormal style="BACKGROUND: #eeeeee; MARGIN: 0.1in 0in 0.2in; LINE-HEIGHT: 170%"><SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a">US Congressman Allen Boyd (D-North <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:State w:st="on">Florida</st1:State>) introduced legislation in the House of Representatives to protect the jobs of <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeType w:st="on">Gulf</st1:placeType> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Coast</st1:placeType></st1:place> fishers and boost the local fishing industry economic benefits to Gulf communities. The <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeType w:st="on">Gulf</st1:placeType> of <st1:placeName w:st="on">Mexico Red Snapper Fishery Protection Act</st1:placeName></st1:place> would require a detailed analysis on the number of red snapper in the Gulf before the government can propose cuts in the number of days red snapper can be fished.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="BACKGROUND: #eeeeee; MARGIN: 0.1in 0in 0.2in; LINE-HEIGHT: 170%"><SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a"><SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a">?This legislation will ensure that our fishermen?s jobs are protected from any unjust future closures and that the economies of our local coastal communities are never again put in jeopardy because of outdated or incomplete information,? said Boyd.<SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="BACKGROUND: #eeeeee; MARGIN: 0.1in 0in 0.2in; LINE-HEIGHT: 170%"><SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a"><SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a">The administration recently restricted red snapper fishing in large zones off <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Florida</st1:place></st1:State>?s Atlantic coast due to suspected overfishing. Boyd?s bill would prevent this type of move without ?proper review, accurate information and justifiable explanation.?<SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="BACKGROUND: #eeeeee; MARGIN: 0.1in 0in 0.2in; LINE-HEIGHT: 170%"><SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a"><SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a">?Our commercial and recreational fishermen depend on the ability to fish, and closing fisheries using inaccurate information is a direct affront to our livelihood,? stated Bob Jones, executive director of the <SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a"><SPAN style="COLOR: #777777; TEXT-DECORATION: none; text-underline: none">Southeastern Fisheries Association.<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="BACKGROUND: #eeeeee; MARGIN: 0.1in 0in 0.2in; LINE-HEIGHT: 170%"><SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a"><SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a">Boyd?s legislation calls for a congressional review of the federal government?s new restrictions on commercial, recreational and charter fishing in Florida, and requires the federal government to scientifically assess and accurately determine the number of red snapper in the Gulf. Specifically, the bill:<SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="BACKGROUND: #eeeeee; MARGIN: 0.1in 0in 0.2in; LINE-HEIGHT: 170%"><SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a"><SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a">Directs the Secretary of Commerce to conduct a study to assess the amount of red snapper in the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeType w:st="on">Gulf</st1:placeType> of <st1:placeName w:st="on">Mexico Red Snapper Fishery</st1:placeName></st1:place> <SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="BACKGROUND: #eeeeee; MARGIN: 0.1in 0in 0.2in; LINE-HEIGHT: 170%"><SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a">Prohibits the Department of Commerce from decreasing the number of fishing days without this assessment <SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="BACKGROUND: #eeeeee; MARGIN: 0.1in 0in 0.2in; LINE-HEIGHT: 170%"><SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a">Calls for the study to explicitly demonstrate the need for any reduction in the number of annual fishing days <SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="BACKGROUND: #eeeeee; MARGIN: 0.1in 0in 0.2in; LINE-HEIGHT: 170%"><SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a"><SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a">?This legislation is a direct result of the countless conversations I?ve had with our local fishermen. Many of these hardworking and dedicated individuals traveled by bus from North Florida to Washington just last week, and I was eager to meet with them, listen to their concerns, and discuss ways to prevent their livelihood from being unfairly imposed upon,? Boyd concluded.<SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="BACKGROUND: #eeeeee; MARGIN: 0.1in 0in 0.2in; LINE-HEIGHT: 170%"><SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a"><SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a">Boyd also recently thwarted the <SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a"><SPAN style="COLOR: #777777; TEXT-DECORATION: none; text-underline: none">Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from imposing injurious new regulations on Gulf oyster production through his Gulf Oyster Protection Act, which helped convince the FDA to dump its proposal to inhibit oyster harvesting in the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeType w:st="on">Gulf</st1:placeType> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Coast</st1:placeType></st1:place> during May-November.<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="BACKGROUND: #eeeeee; MARGIN: 0.1in 0in 0.2in; LINE-HEIGHT: 170%"><SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a"><SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a">US Senator George LeMieux (R-FL) called on top officials at the <SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a"><SPAN style="COLOR: #777777; TEXT-DECORATION: none; text-underline: none">National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Wednesday to immediately enhance the scientific methodology used gauge the health of <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Florida</st1:place></st1:State>?s fisheries. LeMieux said current methods are flawed and breed closures and fishing bans that are harming <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Florida</st1:place></st1:State>?s economy.<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="BACKGROUND: #eeeeee; MARGIN: 0.1in 0in 0.2in; LINE-HEIGHT: 170%"><SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a"><SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a">?This is not a situation that is going to be a problem six months from now, this is not a situation that is going to be a problem a year from now, this is a situation where right now families who have been fishing for generations are going out of business,? LeMieux affirmed.<SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="BACKGROUND: #eeeeee; MARGIN: 0.1in 0in 0.2in; LINE-HEIGHT: 170%"><SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a"><SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a">
National Association of Charterboat Operators
<SPAN style="COLOR: #31281a"><o:p></o:p>
 

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Hopefully this is the start of something good. Not to insert any negativity here but I would like to see some more concern over the interest of the common fisherman who does not fish for a living but for recreation. Most, but not all, of the comments made are concerning someones livelyhood. Although I do have concerns for the overall economy and the livelyhood of the fishing fleets I still feel that the recreational fisherman is not properly represented by our representatives. This is however a good start to some positive changes in the fishing world.:clap
 

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Allan Boyd is no friend of recreational fisherman. He has shamelessly supported commercial exploitation his entire career and this is just one more example. If you want to be able to fish for snapper the answer is not legislation that ties the hands of fisheries regulators in the face of overfishing by commercial interests at your expense. I get it that the current regs are nuts in our local area, but if commercial interests successfully exploit our concerns over faulty science to get statutory changes like this you will pay the price.
 

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We might have a few people up on the hill that understands the workings of every day America, but by in large they are all out of touch and are Elitists that believe they know what is best for us more than we know for ourselves. Hopefully this slows down the wolves that are trying to shut this down, both fishing and hunting.
 

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The problem is that this sutation was ever created in the first place. The fact that we've already seen so many charterboats going under is because federal government is a reactive institution. In this case, they created a huge problem, damaged a great many florida recreational and charter fishermen, and after they've cause their destruction and angered voters, now someone is trying to get the givenment to undue a fraction of the damage.

The federal government has seized too much of our power and freedom. A minor "correction incourse" is no reason to celebrate.
 

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<P style="BACKGROUND: white"><SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; COLOR: #1f5080; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">I understand the concern for the charter boats, but...... what about the recreational fisherman? The closer killed the local economy for two reasons; 1. Local charter boats a: lack of a fishing season b: Lack of business due to terrible economic conditions. C: Not near as many tourists<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p><P style="BACKGROUND: white"><SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; COLOR: #1f5080; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">2. I don?t want to speak for all local recreational fishermen but the offshore fishing right now is almost a waste of time. Who has the funds right now to drop a couple hundred dollars or so on gas, bait, tackle, time....ect. To only catch two fish! This has also hurt our tackle industry also, I have really thought about lately getting rid of my offshore stuff because of lack of use! This follows another path;Outcast, Hotspots, Gulf Breeze, Grays, Going Fishin, Reel Fun, and all the other shops in town I would guarantee that there has been an unbelievable amount of revenue lost due to the under-researched BS regulations on a fish that is not only prevalent in the bay but offshore also. This also affects jobs in the area, deck hands, sales associates at local stores, tackle reps....... This has turned into a massive problem and legislation has been long overdue.<o:p></o:p>
 

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Bill Me (3/6/2010)Allan Boyd is no friend of recreational fisherman. He has shamelessly supported commercial exploitation his entire career and this is just one more example. If you want to be able to fish for snapper the answer is not legislation that ties the hands of fisheries regulators in the face of overfishing by commercial interests at your expense. I get it that the current regs are nuts in our local area, but if commercial interests successfully exploit our concerns over faulty science to get statutory changes like this you will pay the price.
The legislation reads:<H3>SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.</H3>

<UL>This Act may be cited as the `Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Fishery Protection Act'.[/list]

<H3>SEC. 2. GULF OF MEXICO RED SNAPPER FISHERY.</H3>

<UL>(a) Stock Assessment-[/list]

<UL><UL>(1) REQUIREMENT- The Secretary of Commerce shall conduct a benchmark stock assessment of the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery.[/list][/list]

<UL><UL>(2) REPORT TO CONGRESS- The Secretary of Commerce shall submit to Congress a report on the findings of the assessment required by paragraph (1).[/list][/list]

<UL>(b) Limitation on Rules To Shorten Fishing Season-[/list]

<UL><UL>(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Commerce may not promulgate any interim rule under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1855(c)) or any final rule that decreases the number of fishing days in the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery to less than the number of such days in 2009--[/list][/list]

<UL><UL><UL>(A) prior to the date the Secretary submits to Congress the report required by subsection (a)(2); and[/list][/list][/list]

<UL><UL><UL>(B) unless such report demonstrates the need for any such an interim or final rule.[/list][/list][/list]

<UL><UL>(2) EXISTING INTERIM RULES- Any interim rule promulgated under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1855(c)) that decreases the number of fishing days in the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery to less than the number of such days in 2009 that was promulgated prior to the date of the enactment of this Act shall have no force or effect.[/list][/list]


http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.4723:

So the secretary cannot reduce the number of fishing days prior to when the report comes out, unless the report (which hasn't come out) demonstrates the need for the reduction. That is nonsense.

The section of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act being amended reads as follows:

<SPAN class=enumbell>(c) <B class=labelleader>Emergency actions and interim measures [/B]<DIV class=psection-2><A name=c_1></A><SPAN class=enumbell>(1) <SPAN class=ptext-2>If the Secretary finds that an emergency exists or that interim measures are needed to reduce overfishing for any fishery, he may promulgate emergency regulations or interim measures necessary to address the emergency or overfishing, without regard to whether a fishery management plan exists for such fishery. </DIV>

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/usc_sec_16_00001855----000-.html

This empowers the Secretary to promulgate "emergency regulations or interim measures". He is not authorized to promulgate an "interim rule" so the proposed act is denying him the power to do something he didn't have the power to do anyway. More nonsense.

What he proposes doesn't make sense. I'd say be very suspicious.

Joraca


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