Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) urges recreational boaters and anglers residing in states with U.S. Senate Commerce Committee members to speak up now in favor of passing the Modern Fish Act. The bill, which will be voted on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, aims at improving federal marine fisheries management for recreational anglers. If the bill passes the committee, it will go to the full Senate floor for a vote.
“The bill corrects a long-running mistake of regulating recreational fishing in the same way as we do commercial fishing,” said BoatUS Manager of Government Affairs David Kennedy. “They are simply not the same, and the Modern Fish Act recognizes that. It’s smart legislation.”
Fifty-nine percent of the more than half-million members of BoatUS fish aboard their boat.
Since 1976, saltwater recreational fishing in federal waters has been regulated by the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) which is credited with achieving success in managing commercial fishing. However, MSA never adequately accounted for recreational fishing.
The goal of the Modern Fish Act – S.1520 – is to finally address the needs of the nation’s 11 million saltwater recreational anglers, improve access to federal waters and promote marine resource conservation. It will ensure exempted fishing permits help fisheries management and conservation, rather than the status quo that can hinder both, and support new data collection methods. The legislation also modifies annual catch limit requirements to allow for more adaptive approaches, and it’s also designed to give federal resource managers access to more data and perform long-overdue examinations of fishery allocations.
States with U.S. Senate Commerce Committee members include Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
Boaters and anglers can take action today to contact their Senator by going to https://goo.gl/2HXryk
For more information on the benefits of the act, go to https://keepamericafishing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/HR-200-Onesheet.pdf.