Help End Foreign Commercial Overfishing of the Iconic Billfish
Send a message to your Members of Congress urging them to support the Billfish Conservation Act.
Marlin, sailfish and spearfish, collectively called billfish, are highly esteemed by recreational anglers who practice catch-and-release fishing for these iconic fish while generating substantial income to the economy. Unfortunately, as a result of commercial overfishing, primarily by foreign countries, stocks of these magnificent big ocean fish are greatly depleted in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
It is currently illegal to harvest or import Atlantic-caught billfish into the U.S., but fish caught in the Pacific Ocean flood into U.S. markets in substantial numbers, threatening the survival of these fisheries. The Billfish Conservation Act (S. 1451 and H.R. 2706), introduced into Congress on July 29, 2011, would close U.S. commercial markets to Pacific billfish, preventing their harvest and importation.
It would have a negligible impact on the commercial fishing industry in the U.S., since billfish represent only 0.1 percent of all seafood sales and there are many sustainable alternatives. The subsequent increase in billfish abundance will add value to the recreational fishery, which annually generates billions of dollars to the economy and has a minimal impact on billfish populations.
In short, this important bipartisan legislation will help restore billfish populations and improve recreational fishing opportunities while concurrently creating jobs and other economic benefits.