Congressman Hefley has once again shown the courage of his convictions by indroducing the “Ocean Habitat Protection Act”.
Mr Hefley’s bill, HR 2673, would limit the attachments, rock hoppers and rollers, to the bottom of trawl nets in order to protect sensitive habitats from the destruction large bottom trawl nets cause in hard bottom sensitive habitat areas. This is a very effective way to stop this unnecessary destruction of ocean habitats by requiring no attachmnets to trawl nets larger than 8 inches. This modification of existing bottom trawl nets prevents the nets from being fished (pulled thru) rocky areas as the nets would become entangled in the rocks.
Not being from a coastal state and taking a lead on protecting ocean habitats shows real courage as coastal members of Congress tend to avoid controversal issues that affect their local fishermen – even if it’s the right thing to do as indicated by the best science. Mr. Hefley challenged the House leadership over ethic violations last year and is doing the right thing again in his attempt to protect sensitive ocean habitats – another controversial issue. Kudos to Representative Hefley.