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Runyan Works to Stall Action On National Ocean Policy [AUDIO]

Chris Pestoski, Flickr User

Shore area Congressman John Runyan and Fishing Advocates are working to stall the establishment of the President’s new National Ocean Policy created through Executive Order last year.

Congressman Jon Runyan
Congressman Jon Runyan (R - NJ 3rd Congressional District) (Congressman's office)

Recreational Fishing Alliance Executive Director Jim Donofrio of Little Egg Harbor says it adds a new layer of oversight to an already over-regulated resource that favors the views of extreme environmental interest.

Donofrio says “we already have these commissions in place. Now we have an additional layer here that if they weren’t happy, and we suspect they’re not going to be happy, knowing the people that are driving this, that all they’re going to do is they’re going to make it more burdensome for us to go fishing.”

The Congressional Natural Resources Committee, that Runyan sits on, recently held its second public hearing seeking answers from members of the Obama Administration about the new policy.

Donofrio says the good news is that Republican Congress members are refusing to fund it.

The National Fishing Policy is currently being guided by the Magnussen Conservation Management Act which set up eight Regional Management Councils around the country in coordination with the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf State’s Marine Commissions.

Donofrio says a politically appointed National Ocean Policy Committee wouldn’t abolish the current fishing management policies that are in place. However, he said they can supersede decisions made by Magnussen which he believes will make it more burdensome for fishing advocates and small businesses that rely on the fishing industry.

“There’s more boats for sale now than I’ve ever seen because people are just fed up with the bureaucracy, they’re fed up with the Feds and having more Federal Government is just going to discourage people. It’s going to hurt businesses.”

For a little background, the Recreational Fishing Alliance says the National Ocean Policy is a copy of legislation repeatedly introduced by California Congressman Sam Farr called Ocean’s 21 or H.R. 21. The RFA says the measure was rejected by House Members over concerns about additional Federal Oversight of the Nation’s Waterways. The RFA says Farr took his legislation to President Obama who signed it into Executive Order in June of 2010.

A Presidential Executive Order can only be receded by a Present or future sitting President.

Donofrio says they’re hoping Congress’ refusal to fund the new policy will render it toothless until it can be receded by another Presidential Administration.

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