Modern Fish Act welcomed by angling representatives
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A new bill has been introduced at federal level to address the challenges facing saltwater recreational fishing in the US.
The Modernising Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017 (Modern Fish Act) aims to improve public access to America’s federal waters, promote conservation of natural marine resources and spur economic growth.
Its introduction is led by Congressmen Garret Graves (R-La.), Gene Green (D-Texas), Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) and Rob Wittman (R-Va.).
“On behalf of America’s 11 million saltwater anglers, we thank Congressmen Graves, Green, Webster and Wittman for championing this legislation,” said Jeff Angers, President of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. “For decades, the recreational fishing community has been subjected to antiquated federal policies not designed to manage recreational fishing. The time to update these policies is now.”
The Modern Fish Act addresses many of the recreational fishing community’s priorities, including allowing alternative management, reexamining fisheries allocations, rebuilding fishery stocks, establishing exemptions where annual catch limits don’t fit and improving data collection. The bill aims to benefit fishing access and conservation by incorporating modern management approaches, science and technology to guide decision-making.
Jim Donofrio Executive Director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, said recreational fishing had long been ‘an afterthought’ in federal fisheries management.. “This [act] finally addresses the specific needs of the recreational fishing community, stands to bring parity to fisheries management and will get anglers back on the water,” he added.
Mike Nussman, President of the American Sportfishing Association, applauded the act’s intention to address core issues within federal management that are limiting the public’s ability to enjoy saltwater recreational fishing. “It will help maximise the economic, social and conservation benefits that recreational fishing provides to the nation,” he said.