The Senate is expected to meet Wednesday regarding the advancement of the Modern Fish Act, and the marine industry is launching a social-media campaign to help further its momentum.
The Center for Sportfishing Policy is offering video, pictures and social media suggestions for anyone to download and use, as well as an avenue to message members of Congress about the bill.
“The stars are aligning this Congress to reform federal fisheries management in a way that will properly recognize recreational fishing under our nation’s primary marine fishing law,” CSP president Jeff Angers told Trade Only Today.
Short videos like the one here can be downloaded at the CSP website.
The bill, which includes saltwater recreational fishing management provisions and was endorsed by a vast coalition of boating and fishing industry stakeholders, cleared a House committee Dec. 13, and will head to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., one of the authors of the Senate bill, visited the Miami International Boat Show to meet with Angers, as well as the National Marine Manufacturers Association, and meet with various boatbuilders.
“We were thrilled to host NOAA Fisheries Administrator Chris Oliver and Senator Roger Wicker at the Miami Boat Show,” Angers said. “It was the perfect opportunity to discuss the concerns of anglers and for them to meet the great people of the recreational fishing and boating industry.”
Wicker grew up near the NauticStar facility in Mississippi.
Since 1976, anglers have been “shoehorned into a regulatory model designed for industrial, commercial fisheries,” Angers said.
“But the Modern Fish Act is on the move in both chambers of Congress, and we are hopeful that lawmakers will finally regulate recreational fishing in a more practical way,” he said. “We have a broad coalition of recreational fishing and boating organizations united behind the Modern Fish Act and anglers are making their voices heard on Capitol Hill like never before.”
Angers urged boaters, anglers and recreational boating and fishing stakeholders to text “fish” to the number 50457. Posters were scattered around the Miami Boat Show, particularly concentrated among the growing number of offshore fishing boats, asking attendees to do the same.
“We need all hands on deck to get these landmark reforms across the finish line,” Angers said.