Bill would reform NOAA's Asset Foreclosure Fund
Congressman Bill Keating (MA-D) today cosponsored a bipartisan bill called the Asset Forfeiture Fund Reform and Distribution Act which was introduced by fellow Massachusetts legislator, Rep. Barney Frank (MA-D).
Under the bill:
"Fishing is a critical local industry for Massachusetts, and we need to implement fair and effective policies to protect this industry from excessive fines," said Rep. Keating. "I remain committed to ensuring the proper use of AFF funds and the promotion of new scientific research so that our fishermen have the most accurate stock assessments."
"Within the 20% distribution that this bill affords the states is a provision that allows states to partner with universities to perform cooperative research," continued Rep. Keating.
"With so many state-of-the-art facilities right here in our district, this bill will provide a wonderful opportunity for the whole community to support this historic industry. Fishing has long been synonymous with New England, and the success of our fishermen is intrinsically linked to the economic vitality of our local communities. It's time we start making sure that they get a fair shake."
In March, Rep. Keating introduced the Strengthen Fisheries Management in New England Act, which requires that penalties collected from New England fishermen by NOAA be used to improve the management of New England fisheries. The bill specifically directs the US Secretary of Commerce to provide the New England Fishery Management Council (Council) with the AFF funds that have been collected from New England fishermen for direct use toward improving the research and management of New England's fisheries.