1987 Scorecard Vote
This bill pertains to the U.S.-Japan Fishery Agreement of the Plastics Pollution Control Act. The vote is on the adoption of a rule to bring the bill to the House floor. Tacked onto the usual extension of the U.S.-Japan Fishery Agreement were two key measures needed to implement the International Convention for Prevention of Pollution from Ships (known as MARPOL). The bill banned the dumping of plastics by U.S. ships, including synthetic ropes and nets. Plastic debris is now killing hundreds of thousands of marine organisms every year, including up to 50,000 sea lions. Animals become entangled or choke when they try to east the plastic, which does not degrade.
Another provision directed the Secretary of Commerce to monitor and study the impact of drift nets, recommending legislation and pursuing negotiations to control their use. Every year, over 60,000 miles of drift nets are set out mostly by the Japanese: a single net may be over 30 miles long. These nets kill over 100,000 mammals and up to a million diving seabirds, as well as many salmon and fish which are never harvested. Up to 650 miles of net area are lost at sea every year, and many continue to drift aimlessly. The rule was adopted 266-130 on December 18, 1987. YES is the pro-environmental vote.