Rep. Peltola’s Two New Fisheries Bills Will Help Mitigate Harmful Bycatch

CONTACT: Jo Knight,

Arlington, VA – U.S. Representative Mary Peltola (D-AK) this week introduced two bills targeting fishing practices that produce wasteful bycatch (the incidental catching – and often killing – of nontargeted wildlife). The bipartisan Bycatch Reduction and Mitigation Act, cosponsored by Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) and Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA), would stabilize and increase funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Bycatch Reduction and Engineering Program and establish a fund to help fishermen transition to bycatch reducing technology or gear. The Bottom Trawl Clarity Act would more clearly define regulatory terms aimed at reducing fishing with gear that drags across the seafloor and limits this type of fishing to specific zones.

Robert C. Vandermark, executive director of the Marine Fish Conservation Network, released the following statement:

“Bycatch continues to be a persistent problem in fisheries across the United States. It is more than just wasteful to ocean fisheries and wildlife – bycatch brings significant ecological, social, and economic consequences to every corner of the U.S. We applaud Rep. Peltola’s leadership on reducing harmful bycatch with the introduction of the Bycatch Reduction and Mitigation Act and the Bottom Trawl Clarity Act. Increasing funding for bycatch mitigation efforts and better regulating bottom trawling will promote more sustainable fishing practices that can help rebuild stocks, promote ecosystem health, and support fishing businesses and fishery-dependent communities into the future.”


The Marine Fish Conservation Network is a coalition of commercial and recreational fishing associations, regional and national conservation groups, aquaria, and marine science organizations committed to sustaining fish populations, healthy marine ecosystems, and robust fishing communities.