New bill could ease fishing restrictions

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., has reintroduced legislation to amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and allow limited flexibility for fishery managers when setting annual limits on managed species.

The Magnuson-Stevens Act currently forces fishery managers to set annual limits based on arbitrary time frames as opposed to actual conservation goals, according to the Recreational Fishing Alliance. Fisheries experts say these requirements have restricted recreational anglers from access to rebuilding fisheries, and have caused negative socioeconomic impacts on the recreational fishing industry, according to the RFA.

Pallone’s bill, the Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act of 2009, would give the Secretary of Commerce the discretion to adjust rebuilding time frames only if specific criteria are present to ensure that the conservation of such stocks continues to advance.
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It would be nice if the, “powers that be”, would take the “fair and equitable” part of the Mag. Stevens Act and split the fisheries 50/50. It is not really fair or equitable when one sector gets 88% of the biomass and recreational anglers get 12%. There is a lot that needs changing in this deal. One step at a time I guess.