The U.S. House Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife recently convened a hearing â€“ titled, â€śThe State of Fisheriesâ€ť â€“ to examine current fisheries policies and identify opportunities to improve the health and sustainability of marine ecosystems. NMMA submitted testimony to the committee, thanking members for holding the important discussion and noting that clean water, sustainable fisheries, and sound management are essential to the recreational boating industry.
According to NMMAâ€™s testimony, â€śFor nearly 70 years, recreational boaters and anglers have served as the backbone for aquatic conservation. Recreational boaters and anglers pay federal excise taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat fuel and purchase fishing licensesâ€”all of which directly funds fisheries conservation and habitat restoration through the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund. The recreational boating and fishing communities understand that having clean water and healthy fisheries has a direct impact on the number of boaters and anglers. The more boaters and anglers purchasing motorboat fuel and fishing equipment means more funds for aquatic conservation.
â€śFor these reasons, we are grateful for the committeeâ€™s work to ensure the Modern Fish Act became law last yearâ€”which was the most sweeping reform of federal recreational saltwater fisheries management. This new law responsibly expands recreational fishing opportunities through enhanced marine fishery conservation and management. Further, this law will provide this countryâ€™s recreational anglers and boaters reasonable and responsible access to public marine resource. The passage of this bill is a big step toward implementing science-based methods and improved data collection techniques for saltwater fishing decision-making. We look forward to working with the committee to ensuring this law is fully implemented.â€ť