The House of Representatives has a bill, HR 5804, which prohibits trade in billfish and deserves your support! HR5804, which they’ve titled the Billfish Conservation Act of 2010, would shut down all commercial trade of white, blue, striped, and black marlin, as well as spearfish. What about swords? They’re specifically excluded, no doubt because they represent a commercial fishery worth big bucks.
Unlike most of the bills we hear about, this one’s simple. It reads:
(A) PROHIBITION.—No person shall offer for sale, sell, import, or export, or have custody, control, or possession of for purposes of offering for sale, selling, importing, or exporting, billfish or products containing billfish.
(b) PENALTY.—For purposes of section 308(a) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1858(a), a violation of this section shall be treated as an act prohibited by section 307 of that Act (16 U.S.C. 1857).
(c) BILLFISH DEFINED.—In this section the term ‘‘billfish’’—(1) means any fish of the species—(A) Makaira nigricans (blue marlin); (B) Kajikia audax (striped marlin); (C) Istiompax indica (black marlin); (D) Istiophorus platypterus (sailfish); (E) Tetrapturus angustirostris (shortbill spearfish); (F) Kajikia albida (white marlin); G) Tetrapturus georgii (roundscale spearfish); (H) Tetrapturus belone (Mediterranean spearfish); and (I) Tetrapturus pfluegeri (longbill spearfish).
Hey-I can actually understand that! You want to help support this bill? We sure hope so. Here’s how: go to http://capwiz.com/keepamericafishing/issues/alert/?alertid=15969791 and e-mail your support to your House member. It’ll just take a few moments, and yes, this kind of support really does matter – so do it right now, if you care about billfish!