White House Budget Puts Fishing at Risk

The Fishing Communities Coalition (FCC), an association of community-based, small boat commercial fishermen, is a national advocacy organization of which ALFA is a member. 

Yesterday, the FCC urged Congress to reject the President’s proposed cuts to programs that are vital to the viability of the American commercial fishing industry and their communities.

In a letter delivered to lawmakers responsible for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) annual budget, the FCC emphasized that President Trump’s FY 2018 budget request would risk recent progress in halting overfishing and rebuilding overfished stocks. 

Below are excerpts from our letter:

“Members of the Fishing Communities Coalition (FCC) know firsthand that the proposed elimination of the Sea Grant program and the prospect of significant cuts to other vital NOAA fisheries programs could result in job losses throughout our industry and put entire fishing communities at risk.” 

On the Sea Grant program

“In Alaska, Sea Grant is helping our members with workshops that help young fishermen launch their careers; on Cape Cod, Sea Grant is working with our fishermen to develop a thriving aquaculture industry; and in Maine Sea Grant is assessing the impacts of invasive species on critical shellfish stocks. For the members of FCC, Sea Grant is an important federal partner that helps create economic development and jobs and cultivates future leader.”

On NOAA Fisheries Funding

“Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), we have made remarkable progress in halting overfishing and rebuilding overfished stocks. Since 2000, 40 depleted marine fish stocks have been fully rebuilt, with many others seeing measurable progress. The outstanding results of this science-based fisheries management approach have benefitted the U.S. commercial fishing industry, the nation’s seafood supply chain and American consumers alike…

 “…The NOAA Fisheries program, which constitutes less than .03 percent of the federal budget, is critical to this economic success story. The vital scientific information it gathers – including data collection, fish stock surveys, analysis and assessments – provides the stable foundation for informed fishery management…

 “…On behalf of the more than 1,000 fishermen we represent and the fishing communities they support, we ask you to reject the Administration’s proposed elimination of the Sea Grant program and to provide full funding to NOAA Fisheries.”

Please let us know if you would like to hear more about FCC and our efforts on behalf of the nation’s small-boat fishermen.