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Public Statements

Billfish Conservation Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HOLT. Mr. Speaker, H.R. 2706, the Billfish Conservation Act, seeks to ban imports of foreign-caught marlin, sailfish, and spearfish into the United States. Now, these fish, as we know from prized photographs of our friends and many of our past experiences, are highly valued as recreational game-fish and serve as the top predators in ocean ecosystems--the so-called lions and tigers of the sea.

While this bill is a small step forward and has the support of recreational fishing and commercial interests, we can and should do much more for the conservation of billfish. Specifically, developing and using more selective commercial fishing gear, cracking down on illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, and passing legislation, such as the bill recently introduced by our colleague from Massachusetts (Mr. Markey), to combat seafood fraud would provide even more protections for these iconic species. However, I and most of my colleagues, I believe, support passage of H.R. 2706; and we hope that it is a precursor to further action on this important issue.

I reserve the balance of my time.


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