Modern Fish Act recognizes the value of recreational fishing
The recent bi-partisan introduction of the “Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017” (Modern Fish Act) begins a great opportunity for Congress to address serious challenges that have faced the nation’s saltwater recreational fishing community.
If passed, the Modern Fish Act will reform current federal fisheries management policy, allowing for greater public access to America’s waters, enhanced science, and a much-needed boost for thousands of businesses.
America’s 11 million saltwater recreational anglers — and the businesses they support — have experienced systematic reduction of opportunities to enjoy our marine resources. Current federal policies are failing millions of Americans.
Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle should support recreational fishing by co-sponsoring H.R. 2023, the Modern Fish Act. The legislation is being led by Congressmen Garret Graves (R-La.), Gene Green (D-Texas), Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), and Rob Wittman (R-Va.). The Modern Fish Act includes reexamining fisheries allocations, rebuilding fishery stocks, establishing exemptions where annual catch limits don’t fit, and improving recreational data collection. The bill aims to improve fishing access and conservation by using modern management approaches, science, and technology to guide decision-making.
“We applaud the introduction of the Modern Fish Act in the House and the efforts of Rep. Graves and his colleagues to modernize the federal regulations governing access to the public’s natural resources by boaters and anglers,” National Marine Manufacturers Association President Thom Dammrich said. “We appreciate the Congressmen’s support for better management of our recreational fisheries that will bring federal management into the 21st centur y.”
“Getting more Americans outdoors and enjoying our wonderful natural treasures, including in saltwater spaces, requires updating and modernizing federal management approaches,” said Mike Nussman, president of the American Sportfishing Association. “The Modern Fish Act addresses the core issues within federal saltwater fisheries management that are limiting the public’s ability to enjoy saltwater recreational fishing, and will help maximize the economic, social, and conservation benefits that recreational fishing provides to the nation.”
The coalition of groups supporting the Modern Fish Act includes American Sportfishing Association, Center for Sportfishing Policy, Coastal Conservation Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Guy Har vey Ocean Foundation, International Game Fish Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Recreational Fishing Alliance, The Billfish Foundation and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.
*** Hospital clays tourney The University of Maryland Memorial Hospital Foundation has scheduled its third-annual Sporting Clays Classic for Saturday, June 10, at The Point at Pintail near Queenstown. Proceeds from the event will benefit the equipment needs for the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center in Easton.
The tournament will feature 75 targets, lunch for participants and prizes, raffles, and a silent auction.
Registration is available online now or on the day of the event at 8 a.m., with the shoot beginning at 9 a.m. Sponsorship opportunities are available in six brackets.
For more information, contact Amy Lowe, development assistant, at 410-822-1000, ext. 5763 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
*** Fishing report In the upper Chesapeake, anglers are finding some trophy