News Releases

Jul 09 2014

FEDS MUST RECOGNIZE MISSISSIPPI’S NINE-MILE GULF WATERS BOUNDARY UNDER COCHRAN AMENDMENT

Miss. Senator Offers Seaward Boundary Amendment to Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The federal government would be required to recognize the extension of Mississippi’s state water boundaries in the Gulf of Mexico under an amendment introduced today by U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.).

Cochran offered the Mississippi seaward boundary amendment to the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 (S.2363), a comprehensive bill regarding hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation policies.

“Recreational fishing in the Gulf of Mexico is an important part of the economy and lifestyle of South Mississippi.  The federal government not recognizing Mississippi’s right to extend its waters for the purpose of fishing adversely affects these activities, as we saw this year with the shortened red snapper season,” Cochran said.  “My legislation would attempt to remedy that situation.”

The Cochran amendment would extend Mississippi’s seaward boundary to nine geographic miles for the purpose of recreational fisheries management.  Governor Phil Bryant signed legislation that took effect in July 2013 that extended state waters nine miles into the Gulf of Mexico.  The federal government, however, today only recognizes a three-mile limit, which inhibits recreational fishing activities in Mississippi waters.

In addition to addressing Mississippi’s authority to extend its seaward boundary, the amendment would assert state authority for managing, leasing, developing and using the recreational fisheries within the extended area.

Cochran, a member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, is an original cosponsor of the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act, which the Senate began debating this week. (http://1.usa.gov/1n6G9HV

The sportsmen’s legislation represents a comprehensive effort to address federal policies affecting hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation.  It incorporates several bills cosponsored by Cochran, including the Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act to exempt ammunition and fishing tackle that contain lead from being regulated by the Toxic Substances Control Act.

A copy of Cochran Amendment No. 3517 is available below.

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