Billfish Conservation Act of 2012 - H.R.2706

To prohibit the sale or import of billfish and/or any billfish parts into the United States


An individual who buys a fish mount in a country outside of the United States, where any real parts of a billfish are utilized and subsequently imports the product into the U.S., is now in direct violation of the “Billfish Conservation Act of 2012” - H.R.2706. As a result they are also subject to the civil penalty of $100,000. (with each day of continuing violation constituting a separate offense.)

FINDINGS - U.S. Congress finds the following:

(1) The United States carefully regulates its domestic fisheries for billfish and participates in international fishery management bodies in the Atlantic and Pacific.

(2) Global billfish populations have declined significantly, however, because of overfishing primarily through retention of by-catch by non-United States commercial fishing fleets.

(3) Ending the importation of foreign-caught billfish for sale in the United States aligns with U.S. management measures of billfish and protects the significant economic benefits to the U.S. economy of recreational fishing and marine commerce and the traditional cultural fisheries.

THE PROHIBITION - No person from offering billfish, or billfish parts or products for sale, or having custody, control or possession of them of the purpose of offering them or selling them. What this means is that it is illegal to keep or sell any Billfish or part[s] of it.

The maximum civil penalty is a $100,000 fine for each violation, with each day of continuing violation constituting a separate offense.

Exemptions for traditional fisheries and markets;

(1) Subsection (a) does not apply to billfish caught by US fishing vessels and landed in the State of Hawaii or Pacific Insular Areas as defined in section 3 (35) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1802(35)).

(2) Subsection (a) does not apply to billfish landed by foreign fishing vessels in the Pacific Insular Areas when the foreign caught billfish is exported to non-US markets or retained within Hawaii and the Pacific Insular Areas for local consumption.

Billfish defined
In this section the term billfish—

(1) means any fish of the species—
(A) Makaira nigricans (blue marlin);
(B) Kajikia audax (striped marlin);
(C) Istiompax indica (black marlin);
(D) Istiophorus platypterus (sailfish);
(E) Tetrapturus angustirostris (shortbill spearfish);
(F) Kajikia albida (white marlin);
(G) Tetrapturus georgii (roundscale spearfish);
(H) Tetrapturus belone (Mediterranean spearfish); and
(I) Tetrapturus pfluegeri (longbill spearfish); and

(2) Does not include the species Xiphias gladius (swordfish).





2014 International Taxidermy