Just about every family has someone who enjoys fishing. Whether it is someone who takes a trip deep into the wilderness or just heads down to the local pond or river, there are plenty of avid fishermen and women. While this can be a fun relaxing activity, fishing plays a large part in the United States economy as well as our own local economy. Annually, Connecticut catches roughly 7 million pounds of fish along the Long Island Sound that contributes towards the state economy. Recently, there has been a proposal in the House of Representatives that would lower the standards for fishing regulations and change the current fishing law.
In 1976, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act was enabled to regulate the amount of fish that could be caught as well as laying out a plan to replenish “at-risk” fish stock. This was designed to help prevent overfishing in the United States. This law has long been recognized as a reason that the United States is one of the worldwide leaders in fish conservation. The recent proposal has sparked a debate over what is the best course of action.
Those in support of the proposal argue that the fishing industry has taken a hit recently and the restrictions created by Magnuson-Stevens is too severe. The proposal is designed to allow local fisheries to “take the economic needs of the fishing communities” into consideration when setting catch limits on certain species of fish. Those that oppose the proposal note that this would “promote strategies that would increase the risk of overfishing and would allow managers to leave populations at low levels rather than rebuild them quickly and to forgo management of fish stocks in need of conservation.”
This has even gotten the attention of the President, as Obama’s advisors have pledged that should the bill make it through both the Senate and House of Representatives, he would veto.
While this debate appears to be far from over, you can still enjoy fishing in your communities throughout the summer. You can keep up with all the fishing law regulations here. We here at Carter Mario hope you enjoy your time fishing and hope you land a big one!