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Rubio, Cotton Introduce Bill to Give Regulatory Relief to Aquaculture Shippers

Mar 23, 2018 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) introduced legislation to provide regulatory relief to aquaculture shippers across our nation. Today, the Department of Transportation requires all shippers who need commercial driver’s licenses to use electronic logging devices to keep track of their drivers’ hours on the road. But though the DOT grants livestock haulers certain exemptions to account for the difficulty of transporting live animals, it denies those same exemptions to truckers hauling fish used as bait, pets, or decoration. The Aquaculture Transportation Technical Corrections Act would correct this discrepancy by extending the exemptions to these shippers as well.

“Florida is home to a robust aquaculture industry with huge growth potential,” said Senator Rubio. “This bill ensures fairness for all fish and livestock transporters and will keep this industry growing in Florida.”

“The transportation of live fish is hard enough as it is,” said Senator Cotton. “There’s no reason the federal government should differentiate between fish used for food and fish used for bait, ponds, or aquariums. This legislation will make sure fish transporters are on the same playing field as the transporters of other live animals.”

 Background

•    The Department of Transportation requires all shippers who need commercial driver’s licenses to use electronic logging devices to keep track of their drivers’ hours of service.

•    It also grants certain exemptions to shippers of livestock to account for the difficulty of transporting live animals.

•    When writing the regulation, the department referenced an outdated USDA definition of livestock that makes a dubious distinction between fish used for food and those used as bait, pets, or decoration.

•    The Aquaculture Transportation Technical Corrections Act would correct for this discrepancy by extending these exemptions to all aquaculture shippers equally.