Improving Federal Saltwater Fisheries Management
Over 11 million Americans enjoy saltwater recreational fishing. The sport contributes $70 billion to the nation’s economy annually and supports 455,000 American jobs. And yet, when it comes to federal management, our sport is frequently overlooked.
The current law, known as the Magnuson-Stevens Act, has never properly addressed the importance of recreational fishing and this has led to shortened or even cancelled seasons, reduced bag limits, and unnecessary restrictions. Management strategies are in desperate need of an update and more emphasis needs to be put on recreational fishing.
Fortunately, a solution is on the horizon. On April 6, 2017, the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act, or the Modern Fish Act for short, was introduced in the House of Representatives as HR 2023. The Senate version was introduced by Sen. Roger Wicker on July 10, 2017 as S. 1520. Both bills are designed to address federal saltwater management issues by adapting the federal system that has historically focused on commercial fishing to now meet the needs of the nation’s saltwater anglers. The Modern Fish Act will provide federal managers with the tools and data needed to appropriately manage recreational fishing, rather than continuing to manage recreational fishing the same as commercial fishing, much like the proverbial square peg and the round hole.
If passed, the Modern Fish Act will improve access to America’s federal waters and promote conservation of our natural marine resources. Simply put, that means more and better fishing.
What does the Modern Fish Act do for me?
If you fish in federally-managed saltwater, odds are you’ve been frustrated by shortened seasons, reduced bag limits, and unwarranted restrictions. From summer flounder in New Jersey to red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico, anglers have been hampered by out-of-date data, quotas, and in some cases, questionable management strategies.
The Modern Fish Act is designed to address these issues by creating a comprehensive package of regulations specifically aimed at adapting the federal system that has historically focused on commercial fishing to now meet the needs of the nation’s 11 million saltwater anglers.
Check out this infographic for more information.
How are federal saltwater fisheries managed currently?
Since 1976, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, or MSA, has been the primary statute …
Fish Act is worthy of support
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Modern Fish Act Offers Hope
By Mike Leonard,Sport Fishing Magazine July 23, 2018
U.S. House of Representatives Passes Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Bill
ASA Press Release, July 11, 2018
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Video – Time to Update Federal Fisheries Management
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