The Billfish Conservation Act (BCA) of 2012 establishes a positive step for billfish conservation and will prohibit the sale or the possession with the purposes of offering billfish (sailfish, marlin, and spearfish) for sale in the United States. However, two exceptions in section 4(c) are present that allow domestic vessels in Hawaii and the Pacific Insular Area to be exempt from these general prohibitions.The exemptions also allow foreign vessels to land billfish in Pacific Insular Areas for exportation outside of the United States.
Comment now on the scope of the exemptions in section 4(c) and the possible use of a modified of billfish Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to certify billfish were caught by US vessels and landed in either Hawaii or Pacific Insular Areas. NMFS is seeking comment on new regulations that would require that billfish for sale meet the exemptions of the BCA as well as what restrictions, if any, can be put on the trade and sale of billfish landed by U.S. boats in Hawaii and Pacific Insular areas. Make A difference today and submit your comments!