Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
                                                      Calendar No. 317
116th Congress      }                                   {       Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session        }                                   {      116-167
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                        FLUKE FAIRNESS ACT OF 2019

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                 S. 908






              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]







                December 5, 2019.--Ordered to be printed

                               __________


                      U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE
                      
99-010                     WASHINGTON : 2019 












       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                     one hundred sixteenth congress
                             first session

                 ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi, Chairman
JOHN THUNE, South Dakota             MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
ROY BLUNT, Missouri                  AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota
TED CRUZ, Texas                      RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut
DEB FISCHER, Nebraska                BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii
JERRY MORAN, Kansas                  EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts
DAN SULLIVAN, Alaska                 TOM UDALL, New Mexico
CORY GARDNER, Colorado               GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
MARSHA BLACKBURN, Tennessee          TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO, West Virginia  TAMMY DUCKWORTH, Illinois
MIKE LEE, Utah                       JON TESTER, Montana
RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin               KYRSTEN SINEMA, Arizona
TODD C. YOUNG, Indiana               JACKY ROSEN, Nevada
RICK SCOTT, Florida
                       John Keast, Staff Director
               David Strickland, Minority Staff Director































                                                      Calendar No. 317
116th Congress      }                                   {       Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session        }                                   {      116-167
======================================================================



 
                       FLUKE FAIRNESS ACT OF 2019

                                _______
                                

                December 5, 2019.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

       Mr. Wicker, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 908]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 908) to provide for an 
equitable management of summer flounder based on geographic, 
scientific, and economic data and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of S. 908, as reported, is to provide for an 
equitable management of summer flounder based on geographic, 
scientific, and economic data and for other purposes.

                          Background and Needs

    Summer flounder, or fluke, are flat, bottom-dwelling fish 
that live in the Atlantic Ocean. They are found from the east 
coast of Florida to the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. They 
can grow up to two feet and are popular targets for both 
recreational and commercial fishing.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA Fisheries, 
``Summer Flounder'' (https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/species/summer-
flounder) (accessed on March 28, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management 
Act (MSA) guides management of Federal fisheries resources 
through the use of fishery management plans within the eight 
established regional councils for fisheries in Federal waters. 
Fisheries in State waters are either managed directly by States 
or by an interstate commission, though not all interstate 
commissions have regulatory authority. Due to its presence in 
multiple State waters, as well as Federal waters, summer 
flounder is jointly managed by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery 
Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries 
Commission.\2\ Some stakeholders have expressed concern that 
the use of old data has led to a fishery management plan that 
does not give New York recreational or commercial fishermen an 
adequate share of the summer flounder quota.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA Fisheries, 
``Summer Flounder'' (https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/species/summer-
flounder) (accessed on March 28, 2019).
    \3\Mark Harrington, ``Schumer pledges to use clout to pass `Fluke 
Fairness Act,''' Newsday, November 5, 2013 (https://www.newsday.com/
news/nation/schumer-pledges-to-use-clout-to-pass-fluke-fairness-act-
1.6375816?_ga=2.73170384.2137316337.1561046669-1062949043.1561046669) 
(accessed on March 28, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                         Summary of Provisions

    If enacted, S. 908 would require the Council to submit to 
the Secretary a modified fishery management plan or an 
amendment to the existing fishery management plan for the 
commercial management of summer flounder.

                          Legislative History

    S. 908, the Fluke Fairness Act of 2019, was introduced on 
March 27, 2019, by Senator Schumer (for himself and Senator 
Gillibrand) and was referred to the Committee on Commerce, 
Science, and Transportation of the Senate. On April 3, 2019, 
the Committee met in open Executive Session and, by voice vote, 
ordered S. 908 reported favorably without amendment.
    In the 115th Congress, similar legislation, S. 3331, the 
Fluke Fairness Act of 2018, was introduced on August 1, 2018, 
by Senator Schumer (for himself and Senator Gillibrand) and was 
referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate. The measure was not taken up by 
the Committee.

                            Estimated Costs

    In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


    S. 908 would require the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management 
Council to modify the fishery management plan for the 
commercial management of summer flounder within one year of the 
bill's enactment. The modified plan would:
           Establish commercial quotas in direct 
        proportion to the distribution, abundance, and location 
        of summer flounder;
           Consider regional, coastwide, or other 
        management measures for summer flounder; and
           Require commercial catch quotas for summer 
        flounder to reflect the most recent scientific 
        information on summer flounder landings.
    Using information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration, CBO estimates that implementing S. 908 would 
cost $1 million in 2020. Any spending would be subject to the 
availability of appropriated funds.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Robert Reese. 
The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:

                       number of persons covered

    S. 908 as reported does not create any new programs. It may 
result in a change to the regulatory requirements for some 
fishermen, but those individuals and businesses are already 
subject to regulation.

                            economic impact

    Enactment of the legislation is not expected to have a 
negative impact on the Nation's economy.

                                privacy

    The reported bill is not expected to impact the personal 
privacy of individuals.

                               paperwork

    S. 908 would likely result in an updated fishery management 
plan.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 
rule.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title.

    This section would provide that the bill may be cited as 
the ``Fluke Fairness Act of 2019''.

Section 2. Findings.

    This section contains findings regarding the economic 
importance of summer flounder, a history of its management, and 
how that management led to a perceived inequity in stock 
allocation among states.

Section 3. Definitions.

    This section would define ``Commission'' as the Atlantic 
States Marine Fisheries Commission; ``Council'' as the Mid-
Atlantic Fishery Management Council; ``National Standards'' as 
the national standards for fishery conservation and management 
set out in section 301(a) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1851(a)); 
``Secretary'' as the Secretary of Commerce; and ``summer 
flounder'' as the species Paralichthys dentatus.

Section 4. Summer flounder management plan modification.

    This section would require the Council to submit to the 
Secretary, which the Secretary may approve, a modified fishery 
management plan or amendment to an existing plan for the 
commercial management of summer flounder. The plan would be 
based on the best scientific information available, use recent 
data, and consider other management measures for summer 
flounder. In preparing the plan, the Council shall consult with 
the Commission to ensure consistent management throughout the 
range of the summer flounder. If the Council fails to submit a 
modified fishery management plan or amendment within a year, 
the Secretary would be required to prepare and consider one.

Section 5. Report.

    This section would require the Comptroller General to 
submit to Congress a report on the implementation of such 
modified plan or amendment that includes an assessment of 
whether such implementation complies with the National 
Standards.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee states that the 
bill as reported would make no change to existing law.

                                  [all]