Billfish Conservation Act

OCTOBER 2, 2013 -- When the Billfish Conservation Act (BCA) was signed into US law a year ago, conservationists worldwide cheered that the globe’s largest market for imported marlin, sailfish, and spearfish would soon be closed. Although the challenge of getting a bill passed through the legislative process was won, there is still work to be done to make sure the BCA will be properly enacted. On September 26, 2013, the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) and Wild Oceans (formerly National Coalition for Marine Conservation) met with NOAA Fisheries senior staff to discuss progress on implementing the new law and learned that a complete ban on the sale of billfish in the mainland United States is nearing reality. 

During the meeting, IGFA Conservation Director Jason Schratwieser and Wild Oceans President Ken Hinman were told that, since it was signed into law last fall, NOAA Fisheries has been interpreting the BCA as a complete prohibition on possession and sale of billfish covered by the Act in the continental United States and will continue to do so until it issues a Final Rule.  To underscore this policy, NOAA has issued an enforcement order that existing billfish product on the mainland be destroyed or donated to charity.  

NOAA Fisheries staff said they intend to issue a proposed rule by the end of this year or early 2014.  IGFA and Wild Oceans will continue to work with the agency to ensure that the conservation goals of the BCA are maintained throughout the rulemaking process and the strictest interpretation of the law is implemented.

For the IGFA's full comments on the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making regarding the Billfish Conservation Act, please click here.

Full press release: Billfish Conservation Act Closer to Complete Ban on US Mainland Billfish Sales

The Billfish Conservation Act
Read the full text of the bill passed into law on October 5, 2012, effectively banning the importation of billfish into the United States.

Take Marlin Off the Menu
Learn more about the four-year campaign to end US billfish importation, including the research behind the effort.

Congressional Action
Watch review hearings and congressional speeches in support of the Billfish Conservation Act.

The support of conservation-minded groups and individuals was integral to the success of the Billfish Conservation Act.