Sportfishing Community Reviews NOAA’s Progress on Modern Fish Act Implementation

Washington, D.C. – The Center for Sportfishing Policy (CSP) has updated its Modern Fish Act Progress Report, which grades how the federal government is implementing the law in terms of timeliness, stakeholder input and substance.

The Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2018 (Modern Fish Act) aimed to provide more stability and better access for anglers fishing federal waters by providing additional management tools more appropriate for recreational fishing; improving recreational harvest data collection; requiring evaluation of the process of mixed-use fishery allocation reviews in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, and requiring an assessment of the social, economic and ecological effects of Limited Access Privilege Programs in mixed-use fisheries.

“We always knew such monumental changes to the federal fisheries management system would take time, and we were right. It’s going to take additional time and concerted effort by the Agency,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. “More than four years since the Modern Fish Act was signed into law, there is still plenty of work left to do, but we are pleased with the ongoing, productive dialogue between the recreational fishing community and NOAA Fisheries, helping us to better understand where we are headed in the future.”

“The progress in implementing the Modern Fish Act so far provides several intriguing ideas for improving recreational fisheries data collection and management,” said Martha Guyas, southeast fisheries policy director for the American Sportfishing Association. “We look forward to building on this progress and collaborating with NOAA Fisheries to advance recreational fisheries management, as stakeholder input from the recreational fishing industry and anglers will be key to meeting the goals of the Modern Fish Act.”

“We very much appreciate the opportunity to cooperatively review with NOAA Fisheries the progress being made towards updating agency policies as a result of the Act.” said Chris Horton, senior director of fisheries policy for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. “While the review is helpful in identifying the gains made in current policy, it’s equally helpful in identifying the additional legislative and administrative changes that need to occur to continue facilitating improved, sustainable angler access to our incredibly valuable marine fisheries resources.”

Visit CSP’s Modern Fish Act Progress Report page to learn where the government is on track and where it is not,