Support For Repealing USDA Catfish Inspection Program Gaining Strength in House
A letter signed by 180 Representatives was sent to the House leadership that favors taking up a measure to repeal the USDA's Catfish Inspection Program. A majority of the signees are Republican representatives that control the House. “There’s little doubt that, by and large, the House wants to take this up,” said Gavin Gibbons, Vice President of Communications for the National Fisheries Institue. In May, it was Senate Republicans, led by Arizona Senator John McCain, that fast tracked Joint Resolution 28 in an effort to remove the program from the Farm Bill. The Resolution only needs House approval and a White House signature to disapprove the program from law.
John Sackton comments on the widespread repercussions that last night's vote in favor of removing Britain from the European Union will have on US and Canadian seafood sales. The unexpected vote caused some of the largest currency movements in decades, which left many buyers of US and Canadian seafood products poorer. Additionally, the "Brexit" vote is likely to freeze available liquidity among major financial institutions, which will limit investment in the seafood industry. Lastly, the vote is another sign of weak leadership among the world's political figures that have been largely unable to solve an assortment of state and federal financial issues.
In other news, NOAA said it will refund as much as 85 percent of the costs needed to fund fishery observers for the Northeast's groundfishing fleet. NOAA said any groundfish sector trip beginning on or after July 1 may be eligible for the reimbursement of at-sea monitoring costs through a program the federal fisheries regulator is developing with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Details of that plan remain a work in progress, but it appears fishermen will still have to pay for the monitoring services for which they or their sector have privately contracted and then submit those expenses for reimbursement.
Meanwhile, chum salmon landings out of the Yukon River's commercial dip-net fishery are more than double last year at this time. To date, the Lower Yukon River total catch (both district 1 and 2) is 145,892 chum salmon and 0 chinook salmon. Dip-nets are being used in order to protect the Yukon king salmon run, which has been severely low over the last several years. “Our best opener so far was on June 14th, when 107 dip net boats hauled in over 15,000 fish, which is rather remarkable when taking into consideration the inefficiency of dip nets and fishing a river that is 7 miles wide at the mouth,” said Jack Schultheis, owner of Emmonak-based Kwik-Pak Fisheries.
Finally, a group of East and West Coast Senators introduced a bill to prohibit the sale of shark fins in the U.S. The Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act of 2016 seeks to: Remove the U.S. contribution of shark fins to the global market; allow for stronger enforcement of the “no finning” ban in the United States;and put the U.S. in a stronger position to advocate internationally for abolishing the fin trade in other countries. The proposal was met with opposition from commercial fishing groups that say the law is unfair to legal, responsibly managed commercial shark fisheries in the US.
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