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The Magnuson-Stevens Act was put into law in 1976. What it did then was noble and wonderful and made me proud to be an American. This law kicked out foreign interests in commercial fishing right in our backyard. It kicked foreign boats off the Grand Banks, kicked them out of Montauk and eastern Long Island, and kicked them off the fertile grounds of the Northeast.

The Magnuson-Stevens Act was reauthorized in the 1980’s. It was done to fund United States commercial fishermen, to exploit underused and underutilized species such as squid, dogfish, and weakfish, etc. Most of the government’s money was spent to replenish the domestic gap which now existed due to booting out foreign interests. Again, I was proud to be an American.

In 1996 Magnuson-Stevens was reauthorized again and here the world supply of fish worldwide starts to get very complicated. The 1996 reauthorization was to correct massive, let me say again massive over-fishing in absence of the foreign fleet being present in close proximity to our shores.

In 2006 the Magnuson-Stevens Act was reauthorized again to rebuild the unequivocal and non-negotiable greed of commercial fishermen, not only in the United States but worldwide. The 2006 reauthorization was to rebuild our fisheries based on science. Over the years, as the technology of our world exploded, and our knowledge of our fish and fisheries supposedly were more defined, the allotments, quotas, rules, and regulations were supposedly based on new science, a new era.

There is one big problem everyone. The American public, the recreational angler, the everyday Joe with Mom, Grandma, and the kids fishing are getting a bad deal.

The Magnuson-Stevens Act, from its inception, only addresses commercial interests. The American public has not had a chance, and the Magnuson-Stevens bill has turned out to be the greatest enemy. As I write this the Red Snapper in the Gulf, the Codfish of the Northeast, the Sea Bass of New England, Summer Flounder and Fluke — all are issues that are burning hotter than a blowtorch and the recreational fishermen is literally getting the short end of the stick. I love my country but the government can’t run the Post Office, they apparently cannot run healthcare, and under the Obama administration have appointed leftwing liberal government expansionists, making the American public at even worse odds.

President Trump and Secretary Zinke I implore you, I beg you to immediately restructure and change the Magnuson-Stevens Act to properly protect the American fishing public.

This issue is not going away and fishing is such a huge pastime of the American public that it could actually cause the next election to not be in favor of Republicans. I speak for the American public. Not only as a professional Captain and author and RFA board member, I speak for all fishermen. Help me help you.

If you wish to be educated on any aspect of the Magnuson-Stevens Act or how you can help bring forth the right and privileges of the American fishing public, the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) is our strongest proponent. If you fish and you are not a member of the RFA your voice is not being heard — join today!