Recreational fishing rules that need to be revised according to new legislation
The rules for recreational sea fishing in the US are undergoing a thorough overhaul as a result of a new law passed by the Congress, and the millions of fishermen and the groups that make their livelihood hope that the changes will lead to better management.
The new standards are part of a series of changes that proponents call the Modern Fish Act, approved by the House and the Senate in December. Supporters of the new rules have said that they will encourage an industry that contributes billions to the economy, although some members of the fisheries sector felt that deeper changes to the rules were justified.
The passage is a "big step toward implementing science-based methods" and "is the first substantial update of the federal fisheries management system in more than a decade," said Nicole Vasilaros, senior vice president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. , a boat industry trading group.
The author of the proposal, the Republican Senate of the Mississippi, Roger Wicker, said that one of the key features of the law is that it will help the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to include data from fishermen, which he considers timeliness and improve accuracy. The data help to inform the rules and regulations for fish.
The proposal also encourages regional fisheries management councils to adapt policies for some recreational fishermen fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, one of the most popular waters among anglers. The current rules are intended for commercial fishermen and are difficult for recreational fishermen to follow, Wicker says. There are also many other adjustments designed to manage recreational fishing more efficiently.
"Passport of the Modern Fish Act will benefit our conservation efforts and benefit local economies dependent on recreational fishing," Wicker said.
FILE – In this photo from the picture of September 5, 2018 Tim Hitchens, from Gulfprort, Miss., Pulls a fish while fishing from a pier in the Gulf of Mexico, the morning after Tropical Storm Gordon landed , in Biloxi, Miss The rules for recreational sea fishing in the US are undergoing a thorough overhaul as a result of a new law adopted in December. (AP Photo / Gerald Herbert, file)
Recreational fishing is a huge industry in the United States, with trade groups attracting more than 40 million registered fishermen and having an impact on the economy of more than $ 100 billion. A report published by NOAA earlier this month said that the recreational fishing industry has fueled more than 472,000 jobs in 2016, an increase of 420,000 in 2012.
Members of the Marine Fish Conservation Network, a coalition of commercial and recreational fishermen's associations and others, said that the final version of the bill was an "improvement" from where it began, when it faced opposition from nature conservationists and industry members. . However, the Congress still has to give permission for the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the federal standards that govern American fisheries in general, the group said.
"Our hope is that the 116th Congress will continue to work throughout the path to ensure a prosperous future for the people, businesses and communities that depend on our sea fishing," the group said in a statement.
President Donald Trump also issued a statement on New Year's Eve, in which he said he signed the law in law, but added that the new laws increase the power of regional fisheries management councils operating along the coast of the country. He said that this & # 39; Constitutional concerns & # 39; throws up.
Some conservative groups ushered in the passage of the laws as a victory. Matt Tinning, associate vice president for the ocean defense program of the Environmental Defense Fund, said the Modern Fish Act began as a potential threat to nature conservation goals, but turned into an environmentally-friendly law for a year of negotiations.
"We can all be proud of reaching agreement on a bill that meets the demands of advocates of recreational fishing without jeopardizing the durability or access of Americans to local seafood," he said.
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