Natural Resources Committee approves bill to curb illegal fishing

Sep 19, 2014

Protecting local fishermen from unfair competition by illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing around the Northern Marianas and in all U.S. waters is one of the goals of H.R.69. We approved the bill in the House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday. Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D) authored the measure; I am an original co-sponsor. Not only will this legislation protect domestic fishermen who follow the rules, but it will also protect the marine ecosystems so important to our island economy. H.R.69 will increase the inspection, identification, and monitoring of illegal foreign vessels. And it amends several international agreements to incorporate civil and criminal penalties and broaden data sharing authority with foreign governments. The goal is to identify and penalize nations that do not comply with fisheries management regulations.