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Blumenthal to Ross: Use Authority to Fix Broken, Byzantine Rules That Hurt Connecticut's Fisherman

Blumenthal Presses Secretary of Commerce Nominee On Addressing Unfair, Antiquated Fish Allocations Harming Connecticut Fishermen and Their Families

Video of the Exchange Can be Found Here 

(Washington, DC)—Today, U.S. Senator Blumenthal, during the Senate Commerce Committee Hearing to nominate Wilbur Ross as Secretary of Commerce, pressed Ross for his commitment to use his authority to address how certain fish quotas are allocated among states from the Middle Atlantic to New England region, establishing Connecticut fishing quotas that reflect ongoing migration of certain fish to New England waters. Further reductions in fish quotas without a fair allocation of that quota among states poses a severe threat to Connecticut’s fishermen and the coastal economy.

“This system is broken—it is broken from an environmental and economic standpoint, it’s costing jobs, and it is preventing the United States from using its fish stocks, and instead has resulted in importing which destroys livelihoods and economic well-being in the New England states. I’d like your commitment that you will work with me to use your emergency powers but also to support legislative reform,” said Blumenthal during the hearing.

Ross noted that it will be important to make sure quotas are allocated properly, and is very interested in helping the fisheries. The Department of Commerce includes agencies that oversee fisheries, including the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Blumenthal has been a steadfast advocate for Connecticut’s fishermen. Yesterday, Blumenthal sent a letter signed by Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn) and Representative Joe Courtney (CT-3) to current Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to withdraw the changes reducing the annual catch limit for several species for 2017 and 2018.