OPINION Just in time for summer, the U.S. House of Representatives will take a pivotal vote on legislation that could finally give anglers the recognition we deserve under federal law. On Tuesday, June 26, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act (H.R. 200), a bill sponsored by Alaska’s Congressman Don Young to provide flexibility for fishery managers and stability for fishermen. Last December, the House Committee on Natural Resources included the priorities of the recreational fishing community found in the Modern Fish Act into H.R. 200, and a broad coalition of recreational fishing and boating organizations, conservation groups and industry stakeholders endorsed the bill. Passage of H.R. 200 will take us one step closer to updating our nation’s primary marine fisheries law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, to finally recognize saltwater recreational fishing’s social, economic and conservation benefits to the nation. Read Next: Improved Fishing Access Gaining Momentum in Congress Through bipartisanship, congressional leaders have worked together to find common ground for the benefit of America’s saltwater anglers. Common-sense solutions cross party lines…solutions like allowing for alternative management approaches proven to work in other fish and wildlife jurisdictions, improving recreational data collection and reexamining the way our public resources are divvied up. These solutions also improve access which in turn improves conservation funding contributed by anglers.
H.R. 200 and the Modern Fish Act will improve current law to ensure our fisheries remain healthy and a vibrant future for recreational fishing.
If you have not sent a letter to your representative in support of H.R. 200, it is not too late. Please help keep this positive momentum going by sending this pre-written letter today. Your voice matters and your representative wants to hear from you.
This is our time. Help us send these reforms to the President’s desk.
About the Author:
Jeff Angers is president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy, a nonpartisan organization focused on maximizing opportunity for America’s saltwater recreational anglers.
Sport Fishing welcomes opportunities to share a variety of perspectives from prominent or influential participants in issues related to recreational fishing and fisheries.