WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan (D-NC) has signed on to cosponsor the Flexibility in Rebuilding Fisheries Act (S.1255) that is critical to protecting the North Carolina fishing industry.
“We have one of the most productive fishing industries in the world in North Carolina,” said Hagan. “But our fishermen are struggling with rebuilding schedules that have forced fishery closures. In this current economic climate, we need to be doing everything we can to create jobs instead of stifling a crucial part of our state’s economy. The Flexibility in Rebuilding Fisheries Act will allow fishing stocks to be rebuilt while giving our fishing industry room to grow and our fishermen the ability to do what they do best: fish. I am working with my colleagues to advance this bill this year.”
Currently, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act requires that fisheries deemed as “overfished” must be completely rebuilt within ten years. The fishing industry has been damaged by the ten-year timeline since it leaves no flexibility to utilize the most up-to-date technology. The Flexibility in Rebuilding Fisheries Act will give fishery managers the flexibility needed to balance environmental and economic priorities by letting overfished sites specify a time period for rebuilding that is as short as possible.
In February, Hagan spoke to a fisherman rally in Washington that included a delegation from North Carolina. Hagan addressed the importance of the fishing industry in North Carolina and how she hopes to improve the regulatory environment for the industry. The Flexibilities in Rebuilding Fisheries Act has been referred to the Senate Committee on Science, Commerce and Transportation.
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