Industry Leaders Team Up to Protect Angler’s Rights


Industry Leaders Team Up to Protect Angler’s Rights

By Capt. Ted Lund


American Sportfishing Association and other industry leaders are working to protect the rights of recreational saltwater anglers for decades to come thanks to the Modern Fish Act, currently working its way through the US legislature.

Groups including the American Sportfishing Association, the Coastal Conservation Association, the Center for Sportfishing Policy and the National Marine Manufacturers Association, are making a push on behalf of the Modern Fish Act, formally known as the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017.

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 saltwater is often overlooked.

Currently, saltwater recreational angling is governed by the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which has never adequately addressed the importance of recreational fishing and its significant contribution to the US economy. In fact, it has led to shortened or even canceled seasons, reduced bag limits, and unnecessary restrictions for a number of popular species including the American red snapper. 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.  Last year, 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 as S. 1520.

Both bills are designed to address federal saltwater management issues by adopting 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.

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Original Source: Sportsmans

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