Recreational angling stakeholders gathered on Capitol Hill today for a Congressional Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Policy Luncheon along with coordinated congressional office visits. Event sponsors included American Sportfishing Association, Center for Sportfishing Policy, Coastal Conservation Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, National Marine Manufacturers Association, and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.
Recreational Fishermen Laud Wicker, Nelson and Colleagues
Catch shares in marine fisheries is a concept unfamiliar to most people, and it is probably completely alien to most hunters and anglers in this country. It is a system of wildlife management that bestows some percentage of a public marine resource, like red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico, to private businesses for free, to use and sell for their own profit.
The recreational fishing and boating community praised the introduction of a bill that addresses critical challenges facing saltwater recreational fishing at the federal level. Led by Congressmen Garret Graves (R-La.), Gene Green (D-Texas), Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) and Rob Wittman (R-Va.), the “Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017” (Modern Fish Act) would improve public access to America’s federal waters, promote conservation of our natural marine resources and spur economic growth.
A petition to list Pacific bluefin tuna under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) has alarmed and angered recreational anglers along the southern California coast, and with good reason. The implications of an ESA-listing for recreational angling would be profound and almost wholly ineffective. This the second effort to list a bluefin tuna species without sufficient evidence of its needing threatened or endangered status under the ESA, and in response the sportfishing community has mounted a united response in opposition.