On October 15th, Congressman Joe Cunningham who represents South Carolina’s First District which makes up the state’s coastal region, introduced HR-4679, CLIMATE READY FISHERIES ACT of 2019. There are currently 3 cosponsors of the Bill. Cunningham’s press release states:
(The bill) “directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine what actions have already been taken by fishery managers, identify whether any knowledge or funding gaps are hindering action, and provide recommendations for how we can better adapt fishery management, and prepare fishing industries and communities for the impacts of climate change. It also directs the GAO to offer recommendations for how Congress can enhance our nation’s science and management systems to better address climate change.
“Lowcountry fishermen are some of the hardest working people in South Carolina, and climate change has put their way of life under direct attack. The Climate-Ready Fisheries Act gives our fishermen the tools they need to continue fishing sustainably for generations to come” said Rep. Joe Cunningham. “Ultimately, well-managed fisheries are resilient fisheries. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to help us learn what is working, what is not, and how we can be the best possible stewards of our natural resources.”
The Climate Ready Fisheries Act of 2019 has support from Ocean Conservancy, National Audubon Society, Earthjustice, Oceana, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Conservation Voters of South Carolina, Coastal Conservation League, and the Marine Fish Conservation Network.
The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources, and the text can be found here:
New Research to Examine Economic Impacts of NC Commercial Fisheries