AFFTA President Ben Bulis issued the following statement regarding the passage of H.R. 200, the “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act of 2017” by the House of Representatives:
Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed – by a slim margin – a bill that seeks to unravel the sensible, science-driven management framework that is working to achieve abundant and healthy marine fisheries. Rather than improving upon the success of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, H.R. 200 undermines the law by exempting some fisheries from limits on catch and weakening the rebuilding requirements that recover depleted stocks as quickly as possible. In doing so, H.R. 200 puts at risk the long-term sustainability of marine fisheries, and the saltwater fly fishing industry that is dependent on healthy, productive stocks.
AFFTA believes a reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act must focus on real solutions to the issues facing marine fisheries, solutions that are focused on increasing the number of fish in the ocean, and thus increasing the angling opportunities that drive our industry. We implore the Senate to safeguard the economic vitality of the recreational fishing industry by strengthening – not weakening– the conservation and management of our federal fisheries.
AFFTA advocates for and promotes the sustained growth of the fly fishing industry. By igniting consumer demand for products and services, providing businesses the tools to be successful, and advocating for access, protection and restoration of fishing waters, we will continue to enhance the passion and profitability of the sport of fly fishing.