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For nearly a decade Rhode Island has been trying to obtain a seat on the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
U.S. Sen. Jack Reed continued those efforts this week when Rhode Island was added to the list of seven states with voting representation on the MAFMC in the latest version of the Senate Commerce Committeeâ€™s draft Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization bill.
The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, originally enacted in 1976, is the primary law governing marine fisheries management in U.S. federal waters. The act expired last September and both the Senate Commerce Committee and the House Natural Resources Committee are currently drafting separate proposals to update the law.
Robert Ballou, assistant to the director at the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, explained that the Magnuson-Stevens Act regulates fisheries in federal waters, which are waters off the U.S. coast between 3 miles and 200 miles. Waters within 3 miles of the coast are controlled by states.
For more of this story pick up a copy of The Narragansett Times.