December 17, 2018

Modern Fish Act Passes Senate, Heads To House

Earlier today, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act (S. 1520), also known as the Modern Fish Act. This broadly supported, bipartisan legislation marks an historic first step towards recognizing the importance of more than 9 million saltwater anglers in the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA), our nation’s primary federal fisheries law.

“We sincerely appreciate Senators Wicker and Nelson, as well as the large bipartisan group of Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Members who cosponsored the Modern Fish Act, for their leadership on behalf of America’s anglers,” said Chris Horton, Fisheries Program Director for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. “The bill includes some important provisions that begin to provide parity for recreational anglers, including allowing for recreational fisheries to be managed using more proven, effective methods for recreational fisheries, requiring a review of how to improve allocation decisions and providing for better recreational data collection.”

The Magnuson-Stevens Act is largely written from a commercial fishing perspective and often presents challenges for efficiently managing many recreational fisheries. The Modern Fish Act will amend the Magnuson-Steven’s Act to begin to provide federal fisheries managers with the necessary tools to address many of these challenges. “CSF has expended much time and effort, along with our partners in the sportfishing community, to finally realize much needed change for recreational anglers,” said Horton. “As an avid saltwater angler, I personally thank the Senate for taking this first step, and ask that the House quickly pass the Modern Fish Act and send it to the President’s Desk.”

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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