Where’s the Value: Recreational or Commercial Fishing?
“The Billﬁsh Conservation Act is win-win legislation for the environment and the economy, “says NCMC’s Hinman. “Marlin, sailﬁsh and spearfish are some of the world’s most majestic marine ﬁsh. They are apex predators that play a critical role in maintaining healthy ocean ecosystems.”
“Billﬁsh are also highly esteemed by recreational anglers the world over,” adds Rob Kramer, president of the IGFA. “Catch-and-release ﬁsheries for these species support many marine jobs and generate billions of dollars to the U.S. economy.”
The sale of billﬁsh in the U.S. contributes very little to our commercial ﬁshing industry, on the other hand. Billﬁsh account for just 0.07% of the total annual revenue from all commercial fishing. There are many sustainable alternatives for restaurants and retailers to offer in place of billﬁsh, which is why many restaurants are already voluntarily taking marlin off their menus.
As billfish require conservation action, the National Coalition for Marine Conservation points out that the fish are worth more in alive than on a dinner plate. That’s from the Summer issue of the NCMC Marine Bulletin found here.