16 USC § 742a
Declaration of policy
through Pub. L. 116-344, except Pub. Ls. 116-260 and 116-283

The Congress declares that the fish, shellfish, and wildlife resources of the Nation make a material contribution to our national economy and food supply, as well as a material contribution to the health, recreation, and well-being of our citizens; that such resources are a living, renewable form of national wealth that is capable of being maintained and greatly increased with proper management, but equally capable of destruction if neglected or unwisely exploited; that such resources afford outdoor recreation throughout the Nation and provide employment, directly or indirectly, to a substantial number of citizens; that the fishing industries strengthen the defense of the United States through the provision of a trained seafaring citizenry and action-ready fleets of seaworthy vessels; that the training and sport afforded by fish and wildlife resources strengthen the national defense by contributing to the general health and physical fitness of millions of citizens; and that properly developed, such fish and wildlife resources are capable of steadily increasing these valuable contributions to the life of the Nation.

The Congress further declares that the fishing industry, in its several branches, can prosper and thus fulfill its proper function in national life only if certain fundamental needs are satisfied by means that are consistent with the public interest and in accord with constitutional functions of governments. Among these needs are:

(1) Freedom of enterprise—freedom to develop new areas, methods, products, and markets in accordance with sound economic principles, as well as freedom from unnecessary administrative or legal restrictions that unreasonably conflict with or ignore economic needs;

(2) Protection of opportunity—maintenance of an economic atmosphere in which domestic production and processing can prosper; protection from subsidized competing products; protection of opportunity to fish on the high seas in accordance with international law;

(3) Assistance—assistance consistent with that provided by the Government for industry generally, such as is involved in promoting good industrial relations, fair trade standards, harmonious labor relations, better health standards and sanitation; and including, but not limited to—

(a) services to provide current information on production and trade, market promotion and development, and an extension service,

(b) research services for economic and technologic development and resource conservation, and

(c) resource management to assure the maximum sustainable production for the fisheries.

The Congress further declares that the provisions of this Act are necessary in order to accomplish the objective of proper resource development, and that this Act shall be administered with due regard to the inherent right of every citizen and resident of the United States to engage in fishing for his own pleasure, enjoyment, and betterment, and with the intent of maintaining and increasing the public opportunities for recreational use of our fish and wildlife resources, and stimulating the development of a strong, prosperous, and thriving fishery and fish processing industry.

References in Text

This Act, referred to in text, is act Aug. 8, 1956, ch. 1036, 70 Stat. 1119, as amended, known as the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956, which is classified generally to sections 742a to 742d and 742e to 742j–2 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note below and Tables.

Short Title of 2018 Amendment

Pub. L. 115–168, §1, Apr. 23, 2018, 132 Stat. 1284, provided that: "This Act [amending section 742f of this title] may be cited as the 'Keep America's Refuges Operational Act'."

Short Title of 2011 Amendment

Pub. L. 111–357, §1, Jan. 4, 2011, 124 Stat. 3979, provided that: "This Act [amending sections 742f and 742f–1 of this title] may be cited as the 'National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Improvement Act of 2010'."

Short Title of 2004 Amendment

Pub. L. 108–327, §1, Oct. 16, 2004, 118 Stat. 1271, provided that: "This Act [amending sections 742f and 742f–1 of this title] may be cited as the 'National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Act of 2004'."

Short Title of 1998 Amendments

Pub. L. 105–328, §1, Oct. 30, 1998, 112 Stat. 3057, provided that: "This Act [amending section 742l of this title and enacting provisions set out as a note under section 742l of this title] may be cited as the 'Fish and Wildlife Revenue Enhancement Act of 1998'."

Pub. L. 105–242, §1, Oct. 5, 1998, 112 Stat. 1574, provided that: "This Act [amending section 742f of this title and enacting provisions set out as notes under section 742f of this title] may be cited as the 'National Wildlife Refuge System Volunteer and Community Partnership Enhancement Act of 1998'."

Short Title of 1978 Amendment

Pub. L. 95–616, §1, Nov. 8, 1978, 92 Stat. 3110, provided: "That this Act [enacting sections 695j–1, 712, 742l of this title and amending sections 460k–3, 666g, 668a, 668dd, 690e, 695i, 706, 715d, 715i, 715j, 718b, 718c, 718f, 742f, 753a of this title and sections 1114, 3112 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure] may be cited as the 'Fish and Wildlife Improvement Act of 1978'."

Short Title

Act Aug. 8, 1956, ch. 1036, §1, 70 Stat. 1119, provided: "This Act [enacting this section and sections 742b to 742d and 742e to 742j of this title and amending section 713c–3 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade] may be cited as the 'Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956'."

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