WASHINGTON – Yamaha Marine Group announced today its support of Congressman Tom MacArthur’s (R-NJ) Striped Bass American Heritage Act, which would designate this iconic species as the “National Fish” of the United States.
Just as the bald eagle is the avian symbol of the U.S., the striped bass is a uniquely American fish that has been intertwined with the people, history and heritage of the United States for centuries. It played a pivotal role in providing the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony sustenance as early as 1620. By 1639, conservation laws were enacted to prevent overharvesting. Over the years, however, stripers suffered from pollution that ultimately brought about the Clean Water Act and after the passage of the historic Striped Bass Conservation Act of 1984, the stocks began a road to recovery.
Now Congressman MacArthur, who sits on the House Natural Resources Committee, and the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) believe the time has come to award the striper the same recognition held by the bald eagle.
“New Jersey has always appreciated the importance of the striped bass, as it is our distinguished state saltwater fish,” MacArthur said. “I am honored to introduce this bill to finally recognize the striped bass as our national fish and enshrine its place in our nation’s cultural heritage.”
Congressman MacArthur’s seat on the committee places him in a key position to shepherd this legislation through the process. 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.
“Yamaha Marine is proud to support the American Striped Bass Heritage Act,” said Martin Peters, government relations and communications manager, Yamaha Marine Group. “Striped bass have played a major role in the history of American fishing and boating. The ‘National Fish’ designation for the striped bass reinforces a commitment to the conservation of our national waterways and the species that dwell within them.”
What makes the striped bass special? It’s an anadromous species that lives primarily in saltwater but spawns in fresh water, and is found from Maine to Florida and as far west as Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. Live stripers were shipped to the Pacific by train in 1897 and established themselves in California, where they continue to be found today. In addition, striped bass have been stocked in rivers, lakes and reservoirs in 20 states where they are prized as game fish.
Click here to learn more about how you can support this effort. To view an educational video about the “National Fish” designation for the striped bass, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owI0RzPlEcU&feature=youtu.be.