Recreational anglers and ocean conservationists scored a big victory in Congress today as the Billfish Conservation Act passed overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives. The bill still must pass the Senate where it has the support of both Florida Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio as well as David Vitter of Louisiana and numerous other Senators from both parties.
The bill, H.R. 2706, was introduced in the House by Florida Congressman Jeff Miller (R-FL) and has since received overwhelming bi-partisan support. Rob Kramer, President of the International Game Fish Association, said: “Now we are very close to getting the Billfish legislation to the President’s desk, which would help turn the tide on rapidly declining stocks of sailfish, marlin and spearfish. This is great news for recreational anglers and for people working in tourism, sportfishing and marine businesses.”
According to Ken Hinman, President of the National Coalition for Marine Conservation, “The U.S. already has the world’s strongest conservation measures in place for billfish. This legislation will help us seek similar measures internationally, where commercial overfishing for billfish has severely depleted populations.”
Kramer commends Florida Congressman Jeff Miller for everything he’s done for marine jobs and recreational anglers in Florida and throughout the country. “Now we look forward to working with our Senate champions to pass this historic legislation,” he adds.
International Game Fish Association