U.S. Congressman Walter B. Jones (R-North Carolina) and Congressman Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) testified at the House Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs Subcommittee hearing on whether federal fishery science is costing fishermen their jobs.
Congressman Jones documented how the outdated science used in the recently enacted Amendment 17B has impacted North Carolina fisherman. Jones also called for a new definition of "best available science"; a prohibition on this Administration diverting science money to catch shares; and a federal investigation of the National Marine Fisheries Service's use of Saltonstall-Kennedy funds on operations expenses instead of fisheries research.
Congressman Frank stressed the need for sound science in order to create reasonable plans for replenishing fish stocks without inordinate burdens on the fishing industry. He called for flexibility in the establishment of catch levels, particularly in the Canadian-American transboundary area where American fishermen were at a significant disadvantage to their Canadian counterparts who are permitted higher catch limits. Last year, Frank was instrumental in helping to pass legislation which would require that a provision of the Magnuson Act be interpreted to allow international negotiation of catch levels in transboundary areas