Jump to content

Billfish Conservation Act Signed Into Law!


Justin Spencer

Recommended Posts

Finally putting his money where his mouth is on a conservation issue. Very good news for many species as longlining kills many sharks and other non-target species.

Today, President Obama signed the the Billfish Conservation Act into law, effectively banning the importation of all billfish into the continental United States. The signing marks the culmination of a united undertaking by a diverse coalition of angling and conservation organizations working in cooperation with a bipartisan group of congressional champions. Although there are no commercial fisheries targeting billfish in the US, the US has been the largest importer of billfish in the world, importing about 30,000 billfish annually.

"This is a tremendous success for these highly migratory species," National Coalition for Marine Conservation President (NCMC) Ken Hinman said. "Marlin, sailfish, and spearfish do not know country boundaries and travel through three of the planet's oceans. Giving them greater protection in the United States sets the stage for better protection worldwide."

With the largest buyer out of the market, the NCMC and the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), who championed the bill, will now turn their attention to the international challenges facing these imperiled species. And with populations of three species of marlin having declined by more than 50%, their efforts come not a moment too soon.

"Recreational anglers and ocean conservationists have been the primary supporters behind the Billfish Conservation Act," IGFA President Rob Kramer commented, "and I am confident that with this strong step by the United States, we will be able to raise support for more robust measures elsewhere."

The support of the Billfish Conservation Act by groups like the American Sportfishing Association, the Center for Coastal Conservation, the Coastal Conservation Association, the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Keep America Fishing, the National Marine Manufacturer's Association, OCEARCH and numerous partners in the environmental community played an integral part in the bill's success.

"We have sound science that indicates that billfish are not doing well on a global level," IGFA Conservation Director Jason Schratwieser added. "Better international protection for these fish benefits open ocean ecosystems and recreational anglers around the world."

"The problem with a politician’s quote on Facebook is you don’t know whether or not they really said it." –Abraham Lincoln

Tales of an Ozark Campground Proprietor

Dead Drift Fly Shop

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We're getting to the point that a lot of fisheries in the US and other countries that manage their fisheries are turning the corner and improving.

It's the species that don't stay home and wander into the wild west of the open sea that take the beating.

Hopefully this will be another step in the right direction.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"No commercial fishery for billfish exists in the US." What about the longliners chasing swordfish out of ME and MA? Do they go into international waters, or does the bill not deal with swordfish, and only marlin?

WARNING!! Comments to be interpreted at own risk.

Time spent fishing is never wasted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.