Sending Office: Honorable John H. Rutherford
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Dear Colleague,

I urge you to join me in supporting Rutherford Amendment #3 to Division A (Commerce, Justice, and Science), which
increases funding for reef fish data collection in the South Atlantic by $3.5 million (up from $1.5 million already in the bill).

Because NOAA does not have good data to determine red snapper populations in the South Atlantic, federal regulators either close or severely limit access to this crucial fishery. For example, recreational anglers only have
5 days to fish for red snapper this year – down from 6 days last year. This is devastating to both recreational and commercial fishing – both of which are
major economic drivers for coastal communities along the South Atlantic.

The Rutherford Amendment fixes this problem by providing NOAA with an additional $3.5 million to help collect better data on reef fish populations.

Funding for better data of fisheries has a proven track record. Over the last five years, similar funding to improve data collection for the red snapper fishery in the Gulf of Mexico has had significant results.
Five years ago, the Gulf had just 9 days for recreational red snapper fishing. This year, they will have a 62.

This funding is offset by keeping the National Telecommunication and Information Administration
Salaries and Expense account at levels similar to FY19 funding. For reference, this account
receives a 7% increase over last year in the underlying bill.

The Rutherford Amendment will ensure commercial and recreational fishermen have stable access to this crucial fishery, enough days to maintain their business, and a strong reef fish population. We have seen this work in the Gulf of Mexico, and our fishing
economy in the South Atlantic is in desperate need of the same success.

I urge you to support this amendment. If you have any questions, please contact Katie Heffernan (


John H. Rutherford

Related Legislative Issues
Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Economy, Environment, Government, Natural Resources
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