Trump Vetoes Feinstein-led driftnet ban bill, arguing harm to fishing industry

President Trump has vetoed a bill that would ban the use of large-mesh driftnets for commercial fishing off the California coast.

The bill called for banning this equipment in U.S. waters that is currently already banned in other areas of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico and off the coasts of Washington state, Oregon, Alaska and Hawaii.

Trump argued the bill would effectively be “terminating” the industry.

Trump writes “by forcing the West Coast drift gillnet fishery to use alternative gear that has not been proven to be an economically viable substitute for gillnets, the Congress is effectively terminating the fishery.”

”As a result, an estimated 30 fishing vessels, all of which are operated by family-owned small businesses, will no longer be able to bring their bounty to shore. At a time when our Nation has a seafood trade deficit of nearly $17 billion, (the bill) will exacerbate this imbalance,” he adds.

Trump concludes “my Administration would support provisions of the enrolled bill, if passed separately, which would authorize fee collection in a different fishery — the Pacific Halibut fishery. This authority is needed to implement a provision of the International Pacific Halibut Commission Convention, to which the United States is a party. However, for the sake of American fishermen nationwide, I will not let the Congress circumvent the fisheries management process by effectively terminating a fishery without appropriate consultation and input from fishery management councils. If this occurred, it would increase our reliance on imported seafood and take away the livelihoods of hard-working Americans and their family businesses. It is my duty to return S. 906 to the Senate without my approval.”