Bordallo Issues Statement in Support of New Legislation to Enhance Enforcement of Unregulated Fishing

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Guam – Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo has issued a statement in support of  3 bills, including one of her own, that would enhance enforcement of unregulated fishing..

READ Congresswoman Bordallo’s release in FULL below:

News from Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo
House Natural Resources Subcommittee Holds Hearing on IUU Fishing Enforcement Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 19, 2012 – Washington, D.C. –

Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today issued the following statement on a hearing held by the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs. The hearing focused on three bills, including one introduced by Congresswoman Bordallo, H.R. 4100, the Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act.

H.R. 4100 was introduced on February 28, 2012 to enhance the enforcement authority of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Coast Guard to regulate illegal fishing. The bill also increases capacity for inspection, identification, and monitoring of illegal foreign vessels, amends several international agreements to incorporate civil and criminal penalties and broadens data sharing authority with foreign governments in order to identify and penalize nations that do not comply with fisheries management regulations.

The hearing included testimony from four witnesses, including Eric Schwaab, NOAA’s Assistant Administrator for Fisheries; Arni Thomson, President of the United Fishermen of Alaska; Jason Schratwieser, Conservation Director of the International Game Fish Association; and Dr. John Graves, Chairman of the U.S. International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) Advisory Committee.

“Illegal fishing threatens the economic and social infrastructure of fishing communities around the world by decreasing opportunities for legitimate and conscientious fishermen,” said Congresswoman Bordallo. “I introduced this bill to protect U.S. fisheries from ‘free riders’ who benefit unfairly from the sacrifices made by our fishermen for the sake of proper fisheries conservation and management. Guam, and the other Western Pacific territories, host rich fisheries resources, including pristine reefs, diverse communities of reef fish, and large populations of sharks and valuable tuna, which are important economic and cultural assets for the islands. Illegal fishing threatens these resources.

“Further, increased enforcement promotes stability among our allies in the Western Pacific. Many nations depend upon fishing as a vital component of their national economy. Protecting our fishermen from illegal fishing enhances economic opportunities and protects cultural and natural resources that our communities rely on. I thank Chairman Fleming and Ranking Member Sablan for holding a hearing on this important bill, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to move it forward in the House.”