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Graves-Wicker Landmark Fisheries Reform Bill Headed to White House

December 19, 2018
Press Release

Graves-Wicker Landmark Fisheries Reform Bill Headed to White House

Washington, DC— The Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2018 (Modern Fish Act) passed the U.S. House of Representatives today with a 350-11 vote.  This landmark legislation addresses the challenges faced by recreational anglers in the current federal fisheries management system and brings a balance of management between the recreational and commercial fishing sectors.  The bill is now headed to the President’s desk. Earlier this week the U.S. Senate unanimously passed their version of the bill, S.1520. 

“For the first time, the Modern Fish Act will recognize in federal law that recreational fishing and commercial fishing are fundamentally different activities that should be managed differently to fit the characteristics of each sector” said Graves. “This landmark legislation will finally give fisheries managers the appropriate tools to better understand the condition of our marine fisheries, which is great news for anglers, for conservation and for red snapper, cobia and red grouper and the many different fish species gulf anglers enjoy catching.”

The Modern Fish Act addresses many of the recreational fishing community’s priorities including allowing alternative management techniques for recreational fishing, examining how best to review fisheries allocations, and improving recreational data collection. The bill aims to benefit fishing access and conservation by incorporating modern management approaches, science and technology to guide decision-making.

On July 11, 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Modern Fish Act (H.R. 2023) as part of H.R. 200, a more comprehensive measure that would have reauthorized the primary law governing marine fisheries.  That bill included several Graves provisions that benefit saltwater fishermen and women, including his Modern Fish Act.   Differences between H.R. 200 and S.1520 required that the full House take a vote on S.1520 before sending it to the White House.  Graves is the lead author of the House version; Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) is lead author of the Senate versions.  Graves thanked Sen. Wicker and his staff for their work passing the measure in the upper chamber.  

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