"Fairness to United States Distant Water Fishermen Act of 2016” / by Francisco Blaha

Many times I discussed that the root of fisheries problems, are not really in fisheries itself but in geopolitics, subsidies and transparency... and in many cases vindictiveness and ego fighting.

 fisheries and politics (illustration from the Economist)

fisheries and politics (illustration from the Economist)

I paste here a direct copy of a bill presented on the 1st of February to the US Congress by two Republican members. Is a truly vindictive piece of legislation... a real "lowlight" of foreign policy and geopolitics in my opinion.

It explicitly says "PROHIBITION ON ASSISTANCE TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES THAT ARE PARTIES TO THE SOUTH PACIFIC FORUM FISHERIES AGENCY CONVENTION".... all this of course comes out as consequence of the recent collapse of the US Tuna treaty with the Pacific Islands.

Very shameful I think... and it basically opens the door wider to the Chinese, Taiwanese and Koreans Distant Water Fleets... as my friend Pam says: "they are shooting themselves in the foot"

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114th CONGRESS 2d Session
H. R. 4413

To prohibit the use of funds to provide assistance to the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency under the Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
February 1, 2016
Mr. Hunter (for himself and Mr. Vargas) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

A BILL
To prohibit the use of funds to provide assistance to the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency under the Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the “Fairness to United States Distant Water Fishermen Act of 2016”.

SEC. 2. PROHIBITION ON USE OF FUNDS TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE TO THE PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM FISHERIES AGENCY UNDER THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM FISHERIES AGENCY.

(a) Prohibition.—Funds made available to carry out chapter 4 of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2346 et seq.; relating to Economic Support Fund) may not be used to provide assistance to the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency under the Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency.

(b) Effective Date.—This section takes effect on the date of the enactment of this Act and applies with respect to funds made available for any fiscal year—

(1) in which a notice of intent to withdraw from the Treaty on Fisheries Between the Governments of Certain Pacific Island States and the Government of the United States of America, done at Port Moresby on April 2, 1987, is submitted by the United States in accordance with Article 12.6 of such Treaty; or

(2) in which such Treaty is not in effect with respect to the United States for any part of such fiscal year.

SEC. 3. PROHIBITION ON ASSISTANCE TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES THAT ARE PARTIES TO THE SOUTH PACIFIC FORUM FISHERIES AGENCY CONVENTION.

Funds made available to carry out chapter 5 of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2347 et seq.; relating to International Military Education and Training) or any other provision of law for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 may not be used to provide assistance to any foreign country that is a party to the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency Convention, signed at Honiara on July 10, 1979.