Congressman Tom MacArthur Introduces the Striped Bass American Heritage Act

Congressman Tom MacArthur Introduces the Striped Bass American Heritage Act

 

Striped Bass, rock fish
Striped Bass or Rockfish

Congressman Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) introduced the Striped Bass American Heritage Act, Tuesday the 28th of April.  This legislation is to  designate the striped bass as our National fish.  “New Jersey has always appreciated the importance of the striped bass, as it is our distinguished state saltwater fish,” MacArthur said. “I am honored to introduce this bill to finally recognize the striped bass as our national fish and enshrine its place in our nation’s cultural heritage.”  Since the time of the Pilgrims the striped bass has played a pivotal role in this nation.   Congressman MacArthur sits on the House Natural Resources Committee which places him in a key position to see this legislation through.  This could ensure greater protection for striped bass than what is currently in place with fishery management.  We illkeep you up to date as this develops.  National recognition would be great for the striped bass, but if given the same status as say the bald eagle, what sort of restrictions will be put in place?  Would catching them become illegal?  It will be interesting to see just how this recognition will affect the fishery for the striped bass.

This is the Language of the Act …

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

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This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Striped Bass American Heritage Act’’.

SEC. 2. DESIGNATION OF ATLANTIC STRIPED BASS AS NATIONAL FISH OF THE UNITED STATES.

(a) FINDINGS.—The Congress finds the following:

(1) The striped bass, Morone saxatilis, is an anadromous species, frequenting and requiring both fresh water and salt water throughout its life.
(2) The Atlantic striped bass has played an important role in the development and growth of the United States.
(3) The Atlantic striped bass is identified as playing a pivotal role in providing the Pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony sustenance in 1620.
(4) The Nation’s first fishing conservation law was enacted in 1639, pertaining to the use of Atlantic striped bass.
(5) The Nation’s first free public school was funded with income derived from the income accrued from Atlantic striped bass in 1670.
(6) Atlantic striped bass from the Navesink River in New Jersey were transported west to San Francisco Bay via railway car in 1879 during the country’s great expansion west.
(7) Atlantic striped bass spawn in freshwater, the success of which is influenced by environmental conditions, habitat, and water conditions.
(8) Widespread pollution of coastal estuaries and rivers and overfishing in the 1960’s and 1970’s lead to dramatic decline of the Atlantic striped bass population and the passage of the Atlantic Striped Bass Conservation Act in 1984 (16 U.S.C 5151 et seq.).
(9) Through Executive Order 13449, issued on October 24, 2007, Atlantic striped bass in Federal waters were afforded protection from sale.
(10) The Atlantic Striped Bass Conservation Act is a regional management success due in part to the moratorium authority vested in both the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of the Interior who can declare jointly a moratorium on fishing for Atlantic striped bass within the coastal waters of any coastal State if the Secretaries determine that coastal State to be out of compliance with any regulatory measures necessary to fully implement and enforce the Atlantic striped bass management plan within its coastal waters.
(11) The Atlantic striped bass population responded positively to management measures and improvements to water quality, and was therefore declared rebuilt in 1995.
(12) The Atlantic striped bass supports significant and sustainable commercial and recreational fisheries that provide income, employment, and food.
(13) The Atlantic striped bass, through its resilience and persistence, represents the American ideals and spirit that helped shaped the Nation.

(b) DECLARATION. — The Atlantic striped bass, Morone saxatilis, is designated as the National Fish of the United States.

 

 

Fish On!

Rich King

 

 

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