Act to Govern Saltwater Recreational Fishing in the U.S.

The U.S. “Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act” seeks to apply modern management approaches, science and technology to guide decision-making over saltwater recreational fishing. Lawrence Gunther speaks with Mike Leonard, Conservation Director for the American Sportfishing Association, and learns more about plans to increase access to saltwater recreational fishing opportunities along the U.S. coastline. The ASA hopes the new Act will raise the status of recreational anglers to be on par with commercial fishers.

The Modern Fish Act addresses many of the recreational fishing community’s priorities specific to America’s 11 million saltwater anglers including allowing alternative management, reexamining fisheries allocations, rebuilding fishery stocks, establishing exemptions where annual catch limits don’t fit and improving data collection.

The bill aims to benefit fishing access and conservation by incorporating modern management approaches, science and technology to guide decision-making.

  • Address challenges facing saltwater recreational fishing improve public access to America’s federal waters,
  • Promote conservation of natural marine resources,
  • Spur economic growth.

Jeff Angers, President of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. “For decades, the recreational fishing community has been subjected to antiquated federal policies not designed to manage recreational fishing. The time to update these policies is now.”

Jim Donofrio Executive Director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, said recreational fishing had long been ‘an afterthought’ in federal fisheries management.. “This [act] finally addresses the specific needs of the recreational fishing community, stands to bring parity to fisheries management and will get anglers back on the water,” he added.