A bill aimed at making the fish and seafood industry safer has been introduced in the State Senate, but it’s not without a long and difficult road ahead.
The bill, dubbed the Westchester Fishery Management Act, has been in the works for several years and is designed to protect the fishery, which has seen a steady decline in recent decades due to pollution, overfishing and poor habitat.
It’s part of a wider effort to curb ocean pollution and boost the region’s economy.
But the West Chester-based bill faces some obstacles.
For one, the State Assembly will likely be unable to approve it because the governor and other lawmakers in the state are facing budget deficits and lack of money.
Another hurdle is the fact that the bill has a wide range of opponents, including industry groups and environmental groups.
“It’s a lot of red tape and it’s really going to be a struggle,” said Michael D. Smith, the state director of the Center for Food Safety, an environmental advocacy group.
“It’s going to take a lot more than a few votes to get this through.”
The bill has also been met with resistance from a number of groups, including environmental groups that want to see it passed without an environmental impact statement, as the state has in the past.
But some groups, such as the West Coast Fishery Federation, are hopeful the bill can be passed this session.
“I’m very hopeful that the governor can sign it,” said Chris Ritter, a spokesman for the group.