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Plan to revamp summer flounder catch quotas introduced in House

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The fishery plan for summer flounder (fluke) in the Mid-Atlantic region would have to be revamped or restarted under legislation introduced in the House. Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) introduced the Fluke Fairness Act (H.R. 3547), which would require the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council to rewrite the fishery management plan for the species. The bill became available on the congressional website on Thursday, Jan. 16. You can read about it at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d113:1:./temp/~bdDggO:@@@D&summ2=m&|/home/LegislativeData.php|.

Two other New York representatives cosponsored the bill, which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

The bill is a companion to one Sen. Charles Shumer (D-NY) introduced in the Senate last November which has not been acted on. For details, see the story linked to below.

The legislation calls on the council to come up with a plan “based on the best scientific information available” that reflects changes in the fluke population when it determines catch quotas. Sponsors complain that the current state-by-state catch quotas reflect outdated data.

The bill calls for the Government Accountability office to report on implementation of such a plan.

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