The U.S. House of Representatives last week approved an amendment from Congressman Steve Southerland that would prohibit federal funding for expansion of so-called “catch shares” in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic fisheries during the coming fiscal year.
Southerland’s amendment to the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations act was approved by a 220-191 margin. The appropriations bill must still be approved by the U.S. Senate.
“This is a small victory for recreational and commercial fishermen, and coastal communities,” said Chip Blackburn, who captains the charter boat Miss Mary out of Mexico Beach. “Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to try and implement an agenda.
“What is going to take to wake people up? Congressman Southerland has made himself a target doing the right thing for his district and they have made him a number one target for destruction.”
In addition, the House also passed an amendment to the same budget bill, sponsored by Congressman Bill Flores (R-TX), that prohibits federal funding to be used to implement a Presidential Executive Order (EO) that created the National Ocean Policy (NOP) in 2010, which includes the “catch share” or Limited Access Privilege Programs in the Gulf and Atlantic fisheries.