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The Pacific Northwest is home to some of the richest and tastiest seafood in America, and Washington’s coastline provides plenty of opportunities for anglers. But there is a critical problem plaguing anglers who fish federal waters. Under the current system, federal fisheries managers lack the tools and accurate data to provide a balance of conservation and public access.

According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, saltwater recreational fishing annually supports 6,499 jobs and generates a total sales impact of $774.74 million in Washington. Here at Renaissance Marine Group in Clarkston, our 120 employees build boats used by anglers in Washington and beyond. Recreational fishing is important to our state and nation, and deserves recognition in federal law.

A bill known as the Modern Fish Act is making its way through the legislative process, and it will finally give federal fisheries managers the tools and data they need to appropriately manage recreational fishing.

I urge Washington’s elected leaders, including Sen. Maria Cantwell, to vote “yes” and pass the Modern Fish Act.

Bruce Larson, director of marketing and sales, Renaissance Marine Group Inc., Clarkston