When the federal spending bill passed on Monday, there were several provisions in it for fisheries-related projects.
This year’s bill includes $72 million in expanded stock assessments and $24 million for survey and monitoring projects within the Fisheries Research and Management Account. This will provide for more consistent funding for keeping an eye on the nation’s fish stocks to ensure they’re sustainable.
Sustainability is the focus of other language in the bill that would prohibit federal agencies from using outside groups to certify the quality of fish caught in U.S. Waters. Alaska’s senators have argued for a couple years that if NOAA Fisheries thinks a fish stock is healthy enough to fish on, it should automatically be considered sustainable.
There is also $30-million to fight intentional mislabeling of fish species and product weights. The money will be used by the Food and Drug and Ministration along with NOAA to address potential fraud in those areas.
There is $28-million to support the National Data Buoy Center, in an effort to curb the amount of outages among the buoy network, which provides vital weather and sea conditions to fishermen and others nationwide.