NMMA: Catch limits should be based on sound science

November 2011 News

WASHINGTON - In a new bi-partisan bill presented to Congress, annual catch limits required to be in place by Dec. 31 would need to be based off recent scientific data to determine accurate and up-to-date stock assessments.

The legislation (S.1916) was introduced before Congress late yesterday by Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). The Bill, known as the "Fishery Science Improvement Act of 2011?, would amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006 to require new stock assessments for stocks that haven't been tested in more than six years.

"Fishery management decisions should be based on sound science," said Sen. Nelson in a release. "This legislation will ensure that science is a priority."

"It's a simple formula," said Sen. Rubio in a release. "Regulatory decisions, if necessary, should always be based on sound science. This legislation provides a simple answer to fisherman and to fishery managers."

Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation President Jeff Crane said in a release,"The legislation is critical to sportsmen from coast to coast to coast. NOAA Fisheries needs this discrete legislative fix to ensure that recreational and commercial fishermen are not left at the dock because of the agency's lack of science."

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