Fishery Disasters Bill Introduced in Senate

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, introduced the “Fishery Failures: Urgently Needed Disaster Declarations (Fishery FUNDD) Act.” This legislation would reform the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA)’s Fishery Resource Disaster Relief program of the National Marine Fisheries Service, making improvements to provide fishermen with disaster relief more quickly.

“I have met with local officials and seen firsthand how extensive flooding in Mississippi has created an economic and environmental emergency for my state and its coastal fisheries,” said Wicker. “Freshwater has devastated our seafood industry and spurred the growth of Harmful Algal Blooms, which shut down our beaches, hurting tourism. This legislation would expedite the process by which fishermen receive disaster relief. I hope my colleagues will move quickly to pass this bill and help our fishermen.”

Last month, Chairman Wicker sent a letter with Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in support of Governor Phil Bryant’s request for a federal fisheries disaster declaration. The Commerce Committee has jurisdiction over NOAA and the National Marine Fisheries Service.

To read the full bill, click here.