Sens. John Kerry (D-MA), Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME), John D. Rockefeller (D-WV), Scott Brown (R-MA), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced the Fisheries Investment Act (FIA) (S. 2184) on March 12. The companion bill (H.R. 4208) was introduced on March 19 in the House by Reps. Barney Frank (D-MA), Frank Guinta (R-NH), Edward Markey (D-MA), John Tierney (D-MA), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Michael Michaud (D-ME), Joe Courtney (D-CT), William Keating (D-MA), and Timothy Bishop (D-NY). This legislation would redirect existing duties on imported fish and fish products to programs that will protect and increase the value of America's ocean fish and the jobs they support.
Based on the President's FY 2013 budget, the FIA would receive $124 million next year, which would be allocated as follows:
The FIA represents a significant commitment to the future of fish and fishing in America. The bill would more than double the funding currently available for regional fishery management, and increase the overall federal investment in fisheries research and management by approximately 25 percent without adding to the burden of U.S. taxpayers. The FIA is an excellent investment: when all U.S. fish populations reach healthy levels they will generate $216 billion in annual sales impacts and support 2.5 million full and part-time U.S. jobs.
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