Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Fishing Industry Lobbies for NMFS Head

A broad based coalition of fishing industry, fisheries communities, environmental and Native entities are lobbying the Trump administration to make Chris Oliver the next head of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

In their letter of Jan. 23 to Vice President Mike Pence, the group noted that Oliver has spent 26 years working with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, including 16 years as its executive director. Under his leadership, the NPFMC has become the most sustainably managed and productive fishery in the world, accounting for more than half of all the seafood landed in the United States, and approximately two-thirds of America’s seafood exports, they said.

The letter also said that Oliver supports easing regulatory burdens, decentralized fisheries management, and would balance commercial and recreational fishing interests. Oliver, who is originally from Texas, is also knowledgeable about commercial and recreational fishing issues in the Gulf of Mexico, they said.

The more than four dozen signers of the letter ranged from officials of the West Coast Seafood Processors Association, Washington Trollers Association, Pacific Seafood Processors Association, Trident Seafoods, Oregon Trawl Commission and United Fishermen’s Marketing Association to Icicle Seafoods, the Midwater Trawlers Cooperative, Fishing Vessel Owners Association, Freezer Longline Coalition, at Sea Processors Association, Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp., Alaska Marine Conservation Council, and Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers . Other fisheries entities from Florida, New Jersey, New York, and the National Fisheries Institute also were among the signers.

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