Five U.S. senators recently sent a letter to the leaders of the Senate Commerce Committee, asking that the recreational fishing community’s priorities be represented in the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the document that governs saltwater fishing guidelines and restrictions.
The recreational fishing industry welcomed the action taken by Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
“The recreational fishing industry thanks Sens. Blunt, Klobuchar, McCaskill, Johnson and Manchin for championing the effort to ensure that managing saltwater recreational fisheries is not just a coastal issue, but one of national significance,” American Sportfishing Association vice president of government affairs Scott Gudes said in a statement. “For example, many manufacturers who produce saltwater fishing gear, accessories and apparel are found in inland states, and anglers from across the U.S. country fish in salt water.”
“The management model established in MSA has a commercial fishing foundation, which is a fundamentally different activity than recreational fishing,” the senators wrote in the letter. “While both of these sectors are vitally important to the nation, they are unique from each other and therefore require different management approaches. Therefore, it is important that the priorities of the recreational fishing community are incorporated in the upcoming MSA reauthorization.”
A bill to reauthorize the MSA (H.R. 1335) passed the House of Representatives last June.
Recreational fishing and boating organizations supported the final House bill for including provisions reflective of the recommendations of the Commission on Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Management, also known as the Morris-Deal Commission, named after co-chairmen John Morris, the founder of Bass Pro Shops, and Scott Deal, president of Maverick Boats.
The Senate has not yet taken up a full MSA reauthorization bill. It would originate in the Commerce Committee.