Bill Aims to Make Striped Bass “National Fish”
May 3, 2015
Congressman Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) has introduced the Striped Bass American Heritage Bill to Congress, which would designate this iconic species as the country’s “National Fish.” The bill is supported by the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association and the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA), a national fishing-advocacy group.
“Just as the majestic bald eagle is the avian symbol of our nation for its strength, power, and dominance, the striped bass is a uniquely American fish that has been intertwined with the people, history and heritage of the United States for centuries,” RFA wrote in a recent press release. “The time has come to award the striper the same recognition held by the bald eagle.”
The initiative, if successful, will formally designate the striped bass as an official symbol of the United States. It will provide a species that fishermen and naturalists recognize as “all-American” with a status that could ensure greater respect and protection than is currently available under limited fishery management plans designed to merely maintain the stocks.
Thom Dammrich, President of the National Marine Manufacturers Association wrote: “NMMA is proud to support the American Striped Bass Heritage Act. Fishing and boating are inextricably linked, a fact that unifies boaters and anglers and focuses attention on our collective contributions to conservation. Some of America’s most treasured natural resources are its waterways and fisheries resources, and the American Striped Bass is worthy of this special designation as its recovery embodies the American resilience and the conservation ethic of America’s boaters and fishermen.”