WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., are applauding a federal decision that will help commercial fishermen profit while encouraging sustainable fisheries.
“It’s a good decision that reaffirms what fisherman needed – a sound, science-based solution that protects the environment as well as fishermen’s bottom line,” Wyden said.
“Our fishing economy depends on a sustainable fishing management plan that provides for a healthy ecosystem and healthy yields for our fisherman,” Merkley said. “I am pleased that after substantial public input, we have come to a balanced solution.”
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries today published a final rule on a fishing management plan for West Coast Whiting and groundfish fisheries. The final rule upholds a plan by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), which oversees marine fisheries off the coast of California, Oregon and Washington. In November 2012, Wyden, Merkley and U.S. Senators Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., wrote to NOAA Fisheries urging support for the plan.
Under the plan, fishermen are assigned shares, or a percentage of the fishery, that can be bought, sold, leased or traded as commodities. Fishermen can choose how and when to fish. The plan was developed over more than eight years through a transparent process that included extensive public input.
The rule will be effective on April 1, 2013.