Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) cut through bureaucratic red tape in the Trump Administration and helped to secure an increased catch limit for groundfish species caught in the Pacific Northwest Region.
Every two years, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) sets a biennial catch limit for several groundfish species, such as canary and widow rockfish, caught in the Pacific Northwest region. Because of overfishing, the industry had not had access to healthy rockfish markets in decades. Thanks to the efforts of Oregon fishers, the population has been rebuilt. Due to the recovery of the species, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) substantially increased the catch limits for the 2017-2018 season.
Unfortunately, NMFS did not finalize the implementation prior to January 1, 2017. When President Trump took office, he instituted a 90-day freeze on all new federal regulations made after January 1, suspending the groundfish catch limit at the lower 2015-2016 levels.
Congressman DeFazio intervened with the Trump Administration and urged them to provide a waiver exempting the catch limit from the regulatory freeze. As a result of his efforts, after the Federal Register is published next week, groundfish fishermen in Oregon will immediately be able to fish at the higher 2017-2018 catch limit.
“Unfortunately, Oregon’s fishermen got caught in the Trump Administration’s blanket regulatory freeze, so I jumped in,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio. “I’m happy that the White House provided an exception so we could help a critical industry in the Pacific Northwest.”
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