Sam Parisi: HR-200 was passed in the House and will now move on to the Senate.


HR-200 was passed in the House,and will now move on to the Senate.

There has been a lot of those for and against the bill, and after reading the forty-nine pages of the bill and trying to consume it, I have come to the conclusion that over all it is a move in the right direction.

The enactment of the 200 mile limit was needed because of foreign fisherman from other countries were destroying our Fisheries and our government at that time had no jurisdiction,

Japanese and Russian Factory Ships were invading our waters using small mesh netting scooping up small fish like haddock, cod, flounder, and other bottom dwelling species. I say this because while fishing for whiting off the Canyons near Cape Cod I saw in front of me and fishing along side of me, those factory ships.

There ships were five times larger than ours and their nets were capable of catching five times more.

I saw what they were catching right in front of me, with my own eyes, and it was a crying shame to see so many of the small fish they were killing. I believe the damage they caused is still taking a toll on our fisheries.

The Magnuson–Stevens Act was originally enacted as the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 January 14, 1975, and was introduced by Congressman Gerry Studds. It passed the Senate January 28, 1976, and was signed into law by President Ford  on April 13, 1976.

The last time it was amended as the Magnuson–Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006, in 2006.

Moving ahead, HR-200 balances the playing field for Commercial fishermen, stopping the mandate of catch share plans, arbitrarily, requiring a 2/3 Majority referendum vote. I would like to see more clarification about who will be entitled to vote democratically.

Fishermen will have the ability to dispute the so called ‘best available science” which many fishermen would argue, is not always.

Fishermen in Alaska have the advantage of industry vessels being utilized in trawl surveys, while along the East coast are subjected to the only vessel in the Gulf of Maine that can’t catch a cod, the Bigelow. Fishermen in Alaska have an advantage. They have fishermen as sentries in the most critical part of any stock survey, the beginning.

In the Northeast, we have some of the best marine scientists in Academia involved with industry vessels doing cutting edge, innovative surveys that must be included in any discussions of importance when it comes to issues of loss of allocation because NOAA science says so.

This will only benefit the regional councils that make regional decisions, based on trusted and fishermen vetted science. They are the ones that suffer from those decisions. That must change.

The recreational fishing people are included in the bill, and some fishermen are annoyed that they are.

When fishermen rallied in DC from around the country to tell Congress to Fix MSA, twice, it was aligned commercial fishermen and recreational fishermen standing side by side against bad science, and even catch shares. They both recognized the issues that needed to be addressed, and that is finally going to happen.

When the Senate version of the Bill is filed, and if they don’t attempt to change these gains made, I will be asking my Senator to vote yes, and I ask you to do the same.

Thank You,

Sam Parisi,

proud to be a fisherman