Skip to main content

Industry Groups Back Forage Fish Bill

American Sportfishing Association

American Sportfishing Association

The Forage Fish Conservation Act will help saltwater gamefish thrive, according to an announcement from the Center for Sportfishing Policy.

Introduced by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), the legislation requires that federal fisheries managers account for forage species when setting recreational catch limits.

Forage fish provide food for nearly all recreational fish species, seabirds and other marine life. The Forage Fish Conservation Act requires that impacts on fish populations and the marine ecosystem be considered before allowing harvest on any unmanaged forage species.

2_Forage_fish Bill

“We commend Sens. Blumenthal and Blunt for their commitment to strengthening the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act with these science-based forage fish conservation measures,” said Mike Leonard, vice president of government affairs for the American Sportfishing Association.

“Forage fish are experiencing unprecedented fishing pressure to help satisfy the world’s growing demand for protein,” said Guy Harvey, chairman of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. “However, research shows that forage fish are worth over twice as much in the ecosystem by supporting stocks of more popular food fish and recreational gamefish.”

3_Forage_fish Bill

In 2014, the Commission on Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Management, chaired by Bass Pro Shops founder and CEO Johnny Morris and Maverick Boat group founder Scott Deal, released a report that included recommendations to improve management and conservation of forage fish.

“It is critical that we pay more attention to the tiniest of fish in our oceans because they are the base of the food chain and essential to the success of America’s blue economy,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy.

“A significant number of the 12 million registered boats in the United States are used for recreational fishing. For many families, their fishing boat is their single biggest investment in outdoor recreation,” said Chris Edmonston, vice president of government affairs for BoatUS. “Protecting the resource that keeps this family-friendly pastime viable is good policy.”

Related

MASS.RECREATION

Mass. Opens Office of Outdoor Recreation

The new office will coordinate outdoor recreation policy, identify funding opportunities and more.

ONEWATER

OneWater Marine Completes Acquisition

Harbor View Marine has a marina facility in Pensacola, Fla., and a dealership in Orange Beach, Ala.

POINT.SOUTH

Florida Panhandle Marina Reopens

Destroyed by Hurricane Michael in 2018, Point South Marina in Port St. Joe has new drystack storage and is adding slips.

WAKESPORTS

Wakesports Luminaries Recognized

The 2022 class of Wakesports Hall of Fame inductees includes influential pioneers from the sport’s earliest years.

SEATOW

Sea Tow Holds Annual Meeting

The company presented awards in a variety of categories, including the Captain Joe Frohnhoefer Visionary Award, named for Sea Tow’s founder.

FOUR-WINNS-ELECTRIC

Four Winns Launches Electric Boat

The builder partnered with Vision Marine Technologies on the H2e, a production bowrider powered by an electric outboard.

Norm

Fish are Front and Center

A bill in Congress is considered critical to fish and wildlife conservation, while a red tide episode that’s causing fish kills in southwest Florida is drifting north.