On April 10, Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Vice-Chair Representatives Debbie Dingell (MI) and CSC Member Representative Brian Mast (FL) introduced H.R. 2236, the Forage Fish Conservation Act. This bill would ensure sufficient forage is available for all recreationally important fish species, as well as seabirds and other marine life.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation along with 16 other fishing and boating organizations, sent a letter to the bill authors in support of the legislation and indicated a willingness to assist in passing this important piece of legislation.
Forage fish provide a critical role as the base of the food chain that supports virtually all marine life. Unfortunately, the Magnuson-Stevens Act is not currently designed to account for the unique role of forage fish in the marine ecosystem, instead relying on traditional single-species management approaches and the concept of maximum sustainable yield.
H.R. 2236 would require that the impacts on fish populations and the marine ecosystem be considered before allowing harvest on any currently unmanaged forage species. It would also require that the predator be accounted for in existing management plans for forage fish.
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- Improve hunter and target shooter involvement in regulatory and legislative processes. (11.04%)
- Enact or expand temporary hunter education deferral programs (apprentice license programs, multiyear options, programs for all first-time hunters regardless of age, and programs promoting hunting of multiple game species). (13.25%)
- Offer shooting sports and hunter education as school activities and recreation programs. (62.46%)
- Link existing programming into family-oriented organizations (such as churches and home-school groups) where participants will have the social support to continue. (13.25%)