July 13, 2016 -- WASHINGTON -- The following statement is being distributed by the NCFC on behalf of the following organizations: the Garden State Seafood Association, the Montauk Tilefish Association, the Red Crab Harvesters Association, the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, the Monkfish Defense Fund, and Blue Water Fisheries Inc.
CALL YOUR CONGRESSMAN TONIGHT. If you do not know who your Member of Congress is, you can use this convenient lookup, provided by the US House of Representatives. http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
Congressman Lee Zeldin (NY-1) will offer an amendment on the House floor tonight to protect commercial fishermen from losing access to important fishing areas through Marine Monuments Designations. The amendment will be offered to H.R. 5538, the Fiscal Year 2017 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill.
The Zeldin amendment bars funding for the designation of any National Marine Monuments by the President. Marine Monuments are massive areas of ocean where commercial fishing would be banned without consulting the local community, fishermen, or regional fishery managers.
In 2014, President Obama declared a 407,000 square mile National Marine Monument in the Pacific Ocean where commercial fishing was banned and recreational fishing was severely limited.
Now important fishing areas in the Northwest Atlantic, on the West Coast, and in Alaska, where fishermen have worked for centuries are under consideration for a Monuments designation with little public input and no transparency.
These organizations ask interested fishing industry members to call their Member of Congress in the next few hours to urge them to support the Zeldin Amendment.