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3/8/2019 President Ruggerio Re-establishes Fisheries Task Force; Senator Sosnowski Named Chair
STATE HOUSE — President of the Senate Dominick J. Ruggerio has re-established the Senate Task Force on Fisheries. The task force will be chaired by Senator V. Susan Sosnowski (D – Dist. 37, South Kingstown, New Shoreham), who also serves as Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture.

Commercial and recreational fishing in Rhode Island are important industries that support not only the vessels and fishermen on the water but also fish markets, ship repair shops, ice houses, marinas, restaurants, grocery stores, and dozens of other shore-side businesses. Rhode Island fishermen and the communities that rely on a vibrant fishing industry have been undergoing a transformation during the past decade, and there are numerous challenges to address in the years ahead. Fisheries policy and regulation have become increasingly complex since the reauthorization of the federal Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act in January 2007, and decision-makers need to better understand the values and business models that make up the Rhode Island fishing community.

The purposes of the Task Force are to:
  • Track the status and trends of the fishing industries of Rhode Island;
  • Understand the legal and regulatory mandates imposed on the fishing industry;
  • Provide a forum for individuals and organizations in the fishing community to present ideas and identify challenges facing these communities; and
  • Propose legislative and regulatory recommendations for consideration.
“Decision makers need to better understand the values and business models that make up the Rhode Island fishing community,” said Chairwoman Sosnowski. “In its previous iteration, this task force was effective at addressing barriers and assisting the local fishing industry. Reconstituting the task force is a good way to support the industry as they continue to navigate complex regulatory waters.”

She continued: “Working together, we can better understand the legal and regulatory mandates imposed on the fishing industry while providing a forum for the fishing community to identify challenges, present ideas, and find solutions.”

Joining Chairwoman Sosnowski on the task force are: Senate Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey (D – Dist. 29, Warwick), Senate Minority Leader Dennis L. Algiere (R – Dist. 38, Charlestown, Westerly), Senator Louis P. DiPalma (D – Dist. 12, Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, Tiverton), Sen. Dawn Euer (D – Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown), Senator Walter S. Felag, Jr. (D – Dist. 10, Bristol, Tiverton, Warren), Senator Mark P. McKenney (D – Dist. 30, Warwick), Senator James C. Sheehan (D – Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown) and Senator Bridget Valverde (D – Dist. 35, East Greenwich, Narragansett, North Kingstown, South Kingstown).

“As a long-time supporter of the commercial and recreational fishing industries, I will continue to work together with my Senate colleagues to ensure high-quality local seafood products are available for all Rhode Islanders’ tables,” said Senator Sosnowski.

For more information, contact:
Greg Pare, Press Secretary for the Senate
State House Room 314
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 276-5558