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House passes Modern Fish Act

The companion bill still needs to move forward in the Senate before heading to the president’s desk.

The companion bill still needs to move forward in the Senate before heading to the president’s desk.

Boating and fishing industry stakeholders are applauding the House of Representatives for passing the Modern Fish Act on Wednesday, but they urge advocates to continue pressing senators to move a companion bill forward.

“Senate Modern Fish Act leaders Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) are working to get us to the finish line,” Jeff Angers, Center for Sportfishing Policy president, told Trade Only Today. “But it’s up to us, the constituents of all 100 senators, to encourage them all to get us across the finish line. Text FISH to 504-57.”

“Recreational fishing is not a partisan issue, which was illustrated by the support H.R. 200 received from both parties today in the House,” Angers said.

The vote marks the first time the priorities of the recreational fishing sector are included in the reauthorization of our nation’s primary fisheries law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, according to the American Sportishing Association.

“The recreational fishing industry is grateful that H.R. 200, which includes the provisions of the Modern Fish Act, has now passed the U.S. House of Representatives,” said ASA president Glenn Hughes in a statement.

“The Modern Fish Act represents the collective priorities of the recreational fishing community for improving federal marine fisheries management,” he said. “There are 11 million saltwater anglers in the U.S. who have a $63 billion economic impact annually and generate 440,000 jobs. This legislation will help ensure that the economic, conservation and social values of saltwater recreational fishing will continue well into the future.”

“The recreational boating industry calls on the U.S. Senate to pick up the baton and immediately take up and pass S.1520, the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017 [the Modern Fish Act],” said National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich. “Millions of Americans are counting on it.”

A coalition of 10 groups worked to help pass the measure. That group includes the ASA, CSP and NMMA, as well as the Coastal Conservation Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Recreational Fishing Alliance, Billfish Foundation, International Game Fish Association and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

“Passing these provisions of the Modern Fish Act means taking the next important step in recognizing the cultural value of recreational fishing and conservation contributions of American anglers,” said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

“We will continue to work with our sportfishing partners to engage with senators and see to it that the Modern Fish Act becomes law. It is critical if we hope to see saltwater anglers benefit from the advances in fisheries science, data collection and management at the heart of this important legislation,” Fosburgh said.

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