The Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017 (Modern Fish Act) was introduced in the House early yesterday by Congressmen Garret Graves (R-La.), Gene Green (D-Texas), Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) and Rob Wittman (R-Va.). The recreational fishing and boating community is praising the introduction of this bill, which addresses critical challenges facing saltwater recreational fishing at the federal level, improving public access to America’s federal waters, promoting conservation of our natural marine resources and spurring economic growth. NMMA has been a strong proponent of the Modern Fish Act, playing a critical role in developing its language and garnering House support. The recreational boating and angling industries go hand in hand, with nearly 70 percent of boating involving an element of fishing.
“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,” said National Marine Manufacturers Association President Thom Dammrich. “We appreciate the Congressmen’s support for better management of our recreational fisheries that will bring federal management into the 21st century.”
The Modern Fish Act addresses many of the recreational boating and fishing community’s priorities including allowing alternative management for recreational fishing, reexamining fisheries allocations, smartly rebuilding fishery stocks, establishing exemptions where annual catch limits don’t fit and improving recreational data collection. The bill aims to benefit fishing access and conservation by incorporating modern management approaches, science and technology to guide decision-making.
Looking ahead, NMMA is excited to continue working alongside other coalition groups supporting the Modern Fish Act and partnering with fishing and boating champions in the Senate to introduce legislation soon. For the full press release, see here.