On Saturday, 8-25-2012, at 10:00 A.M. (CDT) the House Natural Resources Committee will hold an oversight field hearing in Panama City, Florida entitled, “Fishing=Jobs: How Strengthening America’s Fisheries Strengthens Our Economy.”The health of the Gulf of Mexico and its fishery resources affect the entire economy of Florida.
Florida’s fisheries create and support thousands of jobs throughout the State and contribute to local businesses through hotel, restaurant, and bait store expenditures from out-of-state anglers. A U.S. Census Bureau report found that 2.8 million residents and non-resident anglers contributed $4.3 billion to Florida’s economy in fishing–related expenditures in 2006. Commercial fishing also plays a large role in sustaining Florida’s economy.
The National Association of Charterboat Operators is pleased the U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee will be addressing these issues. President, Capt. Bob Zales, II, said; “NACO continues to be active in working with many recreational and commercial fishermen and associations from across the country to seek change in the current Magnuson Stevens Fishery and Conservation Management Act that will provide the necessary flexibility for all of us to continue to fish and provide jobs for our communities and nation.” NACO has several hundred members in the surrounding area and this hearing will provide Chairman Hastings, other Representatives, and the Resources Committee staff to see how important fisheries are to the area, the Gulf, and the Nation.
The Committee has identified a number of challenges and impediments to fully utilizing the fishery resources of the Gulf of Mexico. The field hearing will give Members an opportunity to get a more detailed view of these challenges by examining: whether outdated scientific information available to fishery managers is limiting harvest levels; whether governmental restrictions on the harvest of fishery resources are necessary; and to what extent governmental programs - including catch shares, annual catch limits, and the National Ocean Policy - will affect how fisheries are harvested in the future.
NACO wishes to express gratitude to Representative Southerland and Chairman Hastings along with other members for working tirelessly to help introduce legislation to change overly restrictive regulations that reduce the number of much needed jobs and fishing fleets.
NACO, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit, is a National Association of charter boat owners and operators that was created in 1991, we represent charter for hire owners and operators across the United States including the Great Lakes, and our membership includes marine charters who provide fishing, sailing, diving eco-tours and other excursion vessels that carry passengers for hire. We are the premier association that represents professional charter boat interests in our country.
For more information visit nacocharters.org.
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