Lee Crockett, director of federal fisheries policy for the Pew Environment Group, issued the following statement today in response to President Obama signing the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012, which allocates $161 million to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for much-needed fisheries research and monitoring programs.
“We welcome this $161 million investment in our nation's commercial and recreational saltwater fishing industries.
"By increasing funding for research and monitoring programs, Congress recognizes the important economic role our nation's fisheries play."
"In 2009, fishing related industries generated $116 billion in sales and supported 1 million jobs. Federal aid for fisheries science will uphold these benefits by promoting sustainable, science-based management of our nation's valuable fish populations.
“Despite this important progress, we are concerned with the impacts of cuts on other ocean programs within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The health of marine ecosystems depends on many factors, and this appropriations bill does not provide adequate funding for critical federal and regional ocean planning and management. We urge Congress to address these needs to help ensure the viability of our coastal economies, communities, and oceans.”