Please select your home edition
Edition
Raymarine AUS 2018 - Axiom Pro - 728x90

New angler-backed law prohibits sale of billfish in the continental United States

by IGFA 11 Aug 12:08 UTC
Billfish protection signed into law © IGFA

The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) celebrates the signing of House Bill 4528 into law by President Donald J. Trump last week on Thursday, August 2, 2018. This legislation amends the Billfish Conservation Act (BCA) of 2012, by stating that no billfish can be entered into trade or sold in the continental United States.

Marlin, sailfish and spearfish (collectively known as billfish) are internationally revered by recreational anglers and produce significant regional economic benefits from catch and release fisheries, but many billfish stocks are in a depleted state. In 2007, the IGFA commissioned a study investigating the international billfish trade that found that the United States was the world's biggest importer of billfish. This led to a collaborative effort by the IGFA and Wild Oceans to create the Take Marlin off the Menu campaign that ultimately culminated in the passage of the BCA, which banned the importation of billfish to the continental United States.

Once passed, however, questions arose over whether the same prohibitions on foreign-caught billfish imposed by the BCA would still allow billfish caught commercially in Hawaii and other Pacific territories to be shipped to the U.S. mainland, thus circumventing the intent of the law. The passage of H.B. 4528 and S. 396 closes this loophole by explicitly stating that billfish landed in Hawaii and Pacific Insular Areas must be retained there.

"This law solidifies the original intent of the Billfish Conservation Act in that no marlin, sailfish or spearfish are to be sold in the continental United States— regardless of where it is caught," said IGFA Conservation Director, Jason Schratwieser.

S. 396 was initially introduced in February, 2017 by U.S. Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) and was passed by the Senate in October, 2017. An identical House companion bill (H.R. 4528) sponsored by Representative Darren Soto (D-FL-9) was passed in the House of Representatives on June 25th, 2018.

"Wild Oceans and IGFA began the Take Marlin off the Menu campaign 10 years ago because we believe the future of these magnificent fish is not for sale," said Ken Hinman, president of the conservation group Wild Oceans. "This simple 'technical amendment' ensures that billfish receive the full protection from commercial exploitation that the Billfish Conservation Act intended."

This important amendment to the BCA advances the United States' position as a leader in billfish conservation and sets an example for other countries to pursue similar conservation efforts to protect billfish stocks.

Related Articles

Observer Training trades hands
IGFA and IGFTO have come to an agreement that will benefit the two organizations The IGFTO was founded in 2009 and is a group of professional and amateur anglers that have been trained by the IGFA on proper billfish identification and the IGFA's International Angling Rules. Posted on 13 Aug
Strong knot for heavy leader
We've all been there. Not to fear! Renowned big game captain Brandon Muller shows you how to tie the perfect knot with heavy leader in this instructional video. Posted on 12 Aug
Potential World Records
Check out this gallery of recently submitted IGFA world record applications Check out this gallery of recently submitted IGFA world record applications Posted on 10 Aug
Good news at last for the Everglades
Gov. Scott: White House approves EAA reservoir, Congress must act now Governor Rick Scott announced late yesterday that the EAA reservoir project has been approved by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and will be transmitted to Congress. Posted on 14 Jul
Potential World Records
Gallery of recently submitted IGFA world records Check out this gallery of recently submitted IGFA world record applications Posted on 13 Jul
Blue marlin swims 5,089 nautical miles
The winning billfish swam an estimated 5,089nm in total or 2,658 nm point-to-point The winning billfish swam an estimated 5,089nm in total or 2,658 nm point-to-point from Bermuda to about 600 nm northeast of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. This is the longest distance ever recorded by an IGMR-tagged blue marlin in Bermuda. Posted on 13 Jul
Findings from the Caribbean Billfish Project
IGFA is concluding its work on the Caribbean Billfish Project IGFA is concluding its work on the Caribbean Billfish Project which began in 2015 in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, with the goal of maximizing the economic benefits of billfish resources Posted on 1 Jul
Take a stand for salmon
Take a stand for salmon by joining the campaign and signing the ballot initiative The IGFA recently partnered with the Wild Salmon Center (WSC) and the Stand for Salmon initiative to help protect the renowned habitat surrounding Bristol Bay, Alaska - home to the world's greatest salmon run. Posted on 30 Jun
Potential world records
Check out this gallery of recently submitted IGFA world record applications Check out this gallery of recently submitted IGFA world record applications Posted on 29 Jun
Potential World Records
Check out gallery of recently submitted IGFA world record applications Recently submitted IGFA world record applications that includes Common carp from Canada, California halibut, Zander from Finland and Largemouth bass from the United States. Posted on 16 Jun
Raymarine AUS 2018 - Axiom Sail - FOOTERHydrive 660x82 2Nebo 660x82 2