Earlier this year the House passed H.R. 200, “Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017,” popularly called the “Modern Fish Act.” This bi-partisan piece of legislation seeks to improve federal marine fisheries management and tackle tough issues, such as utilizing modern technology and science to manage fisheries, greater recreational fishing access and conservation. The bill was reported on favorably by the Senate’s Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee urging a full vote in favor of the bill. It is now awaiting passage and it is likely that a vote will be taken by the full senate before the end of 2018.
Since 1976, the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) has been the leading statute that governs the nation’s fisheries in federal waters. The MSA has made a huge impact on efforts to end overfishing, rebuilding depleted fish stocks and has protected fish habitats, however, recreational fishermen have suffered as the MSA primarily focuses on commercial fishing. The “Modern Fish Act” will address the issues of recreational fishing being lumped in with commercial fishing, which negatively affects recreational permits and regulations and creates parity between commercial and recreational in the federal fisheries management system.
There are an estimated 11 million saltwater anglers in the United States. In 2015, recreational fishing contributed to nearly 440,000 American jobs, $63 billion in sales, $23 billion in income and $36 billion in value-added contributions made to the gross domestic product. These anglers deserve a level playing field when it comes to our nation’s fisheries and need a system that serves sportsmen, not just special interests. We urge you to reach out to your US Senator today and let’s get the “Modern Fish Act” to the President’s desk for signature!
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.