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DEBATE on BILLFISH CONSERVATION ACT

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March 6th, 2017

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The 2012 Billfish Conservation Act (BCA) has yet to be implemented and again is under Congressional review to attempt to resolve debated language so no Pacific billfish can be imported into the continental U.S.  The BCA  language in question follows.

Sec. 2 – Findings

Congress finds the following:

Subsection (3) – “Ending the importation of foreign-caught billfish for sale in the United States  aligns with U.S. management measures of billfish and protects significant economic benefits to the U.S. economy of recreational fishing and marine commerce and the traditional cultural fisheries.”

Was the legislative intent in (3) to stop importation and sale of only foreign-caught billfish?

If prohibiting the sale of foreign-caught billfish aligns with protecting significant economic benefits to the traditional cultural fisheries, does that imply the US fishing vessels (non-foreign) are the traditional cultural fisheries in Hawaii and in the Pacific Insular Areas (PIA) that the Act was to protect, along with the other 2 U.S. interests listed?

 

Sec. 4. Prohibition on sale of billfish

(a) Prohibitions

“No person shall offer for sale, sell, or have custody, control, or possession of for purposes of offering for sale or selling billfish or products containing billfish.”

(c) Exemptions for traditional fisheries and markets

“The prohibition in subsection (a) does not apply to billfish caught by U.S. fishing vessels and landed in the State of Hawaii or PIA.”

Does exempting billfish caught by U.S. fishing vessels and landed in Hawaii or PIA establish them as the referred to “traditional fisheries and markets”?

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