WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-GU) has reintroduced two bills, H.R. 69, the Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act of 2013, and H.R. 71, the Coral Reef Conservation Act Reauthorization and Enhancement Amendments of 2013.
H.R. 69 seeks to enhance the enforcement authority of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard to regulate illegal fishing. The bill also increases capacity for inspection, identification, and monitoring of illegal foreign vessels, amends several international agreements to incorporate civil and criminal penalties and broadens data sharing authority with foreign governments in order to identify and penalize nations that do not comply with fisheries management regulations.
H.R. 71 would strengthen the Coral Reef Conservation Act by acting on changes recommended by the All Islands Coral Reef Initiative Committee. The bill seeks to improve NOAA's ability to respond to emergency or disaster-related situations and minimize the likelihood of vessel impacts on coral reefs. It would also codify the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force established in 1998 by President Clinton.
“These bills will help strengthen existing measures to protect our ocean resources and waters around Guam,” said Bordallo. “Illegal fishing threatens the economic and social infrastructure of fishing communities, and the security of the United States and our allies around the world, by decreasing opportunities for legitimate and conscientious fishermen. The IUU Fishing Enforcement Act would further enhance the enforcement authority of NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard to regulate IUU fishing and prevent the depletion of fishing stocks worldwide.
“Additionally, I reintroduced the Coral Reef Reauthorization bill because this legislation has stimulated a greater commitment to protect, conserve and restore coral reef resources within jurisdictional waters of the United States. As a result, we now have a much better grasp of the condition of our coral reefs and more focused management capability than at any time in our history.”