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September 07, 2012

The Politics Of Fish

Identifying the friends of saltwater anglers on Capitol Hill

Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C.

Jeff Duncan(Natural Resources, Homeland Security, Foreign Affairs)

As a member of the Natural Resources Committee, Jeff Duncan advocates for some of his passions, including enjoyment of the great outdoors as an avid hunter and fisherman. Duncan sits on the Subcommittee for fisheries and wildlife but is happiest when he’s outdoors with his two sons in their native South Carolina. Duncan was first elected to Congress in 2010, and immediately stepped up to advocate for good stewardship of America’s marine fishery resources through his original co-­sponsorship of both the Fishery Science Improvement Act and the Billfish Conservation Act. Duncan has been a strong supporter of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, even predating his service in Congress. He has been an active member of the Coastal Conservation Association and a friend to anglers all across the country.

Rep. John Fleming, M.D., R-La.

John Fleming(Natural Resources, Armed Services)

John Fleming hails from an inland district in a coastal state; he’s intimately familiar with the politics of fish as chairman of the House Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs. Fleming is an active member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. A family physician and small-business owner, Fleming is a solid supporter of recreational fishing. As one who used a stethoscope most of his life, Fleming quickly diagnosed the challenges facing saltwater fishermen. Concerned about MSA implementation problems, Fleming was an original and enthusiastic co-sponsor of the Fishery Science Improvement Act. Anglers have an important advocate in John Fleming.

Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash.

Doc Hastings(Natural Resources — chair)

The Center for Coastal Conservation named Doc Hastings its 2010 Conservationist of the Year with good reason. Representing eastern Washington since 1995, he has long been a leader for good stewardship of America’s natural resources. The House Natural Resources Committee, which he chairs, has jurisdiction over most federal land- and water-use policies, including national forests, national parks and monuments, wilderness areas, national scenic areas, Indian (Native American) reservations and Bureau of Land Management lands. A veteran member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, Hastings has assumed a leadership role in saltwater-­fisheries conservation and is a friend to anglers from coast to coast. His committee has an active role in domestic energy production, and strives to guarantee access to public lands for recreation and job creation and effective management of our nation’s oceans.

Rep. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.

Martin Heinrich(Natural Resources, Armed Services)

Though he hails from a landlocked state, Martin Heinrich is an avid saltwater recreational fisherman as well as a diver and spearfisherman. Heinrich is a friend to marine conservation efforts on all the coasts. As a lifelong hunter, Heinrich has seen the benefits of science-based terrestrial wildlife management, observing elk, mule deer and wild sheep in the mountains of New Mexico. Recognizing the need to put the same weight on science in federal fisheries management, Heinrich was an original co-sponsor of the Fishery Science Improvement Act. He’s also an important member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and a co-sponsor of the Billfish Conservation Act. Heinrich, a mechanical engineer by training, was first elected to Congress in 2008. Note: Heinrich is now a candidate for U.S. Senate from New Mexico, and not actually up for re-election to the House.