Casts + Blasts

The an­gling com­mu­nity ap­plauds the U.S. Sen­ate for pass­ing a bill to amend the Bill­fish Con­ser­va­tion Act of 2012, which bans im­por­ta­tion of all bill­fish caught by for­eign fleets into the United States.

Saltwater Sportsman - - Table Of Contents / Departments -

Ques­tions arose over whether the same pro­hi­bi­tions im­posed by the Bill­fish Con­ser­va­tion Act of 2012 also ap­plied to bill­fish caught com­mer­cially in Hawaii, which if al­lowed to be trans­ported to the U.S. main­land would cir­cum­vent the in­tent of the con­ser­va­tion mea­sure.

S. 396, the bi­par­ti­san leg­is­la­tion spon­sored by Se­na­tors Bill Nel­son, D-fla.; Marco Ru­bio, R-fla.; Jerry Mo­ran, R-kan.; and Joe Manchin III, D-W.VA., and passed by a voice vote in October, clar­i­fies that bill­fish landed in Hawaii must be re­tained there.

“The orig­i­nal in­tent of the Bill­fish Con­ser­va­tion Act of 2012 was to pro­tect bill­fish, not to re­move a for­eign mar­ket and sup­plant it with a do­mes­tic one,” said Ja­son Schratwieser, con­ser­va­tion direc­tor for the In­ter­na­tional Game Fish As­so­ci­a­tion.

This piece of leg­is­la­tion re­moves all am­bi­gu­ity by clearly stat­ing that ab­so­lutely no mar­lin, sail­fish or spearfish will be sold in the continental U.S.

Prior to the pas­sage of the Bill­fish Con­ser­va­tion Act, the United States was the num­ber one im­porter of bill­fish in the world, so U.S. calls for greater bill­fish con­ser­va­tion in in­ter­na­tional fish­ery man­age­ment cir­cles were of­ten met with skep­ti­cism and dis­re­garded.

“The pas­sage of S. 396 brings us one step closer to clos­ing the U.S. mar­ket for bill­fish and pro­tect­ing th­ese ma­jes­tic fish as Congress orig­i­nally in­tended five years ago,” said Jeff Angers, pres­i­dent of the Cen­ter for Sport­fish­ing Pol­icy.

NOT FOR SALE: New bill closes a loop­hole to cir­cum­vent Bill­fish Con­ser­va­tion Act.

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