Rep. Calvert Reintroduces the FISH Act

February 8, 2021
Press Release
Bill Would Streamline Management of Certain Species of Fish Protected by the ESA

Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) reintroduced the Federally Integrated Species Health (FISH) Act, H.R. 866, to consolidate the management and regulation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), with respect to anadromous species, within the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Currently, ESA authority is split between FWS and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The following members are original cosponsors of the FISH ACT: Rep. Costa, Jim (D-CA-16), Rep. McClintock, Tom (R-CA-4), Rep. Simpson, Michael K.(R-ID-2), Rep. Steel, Michelle (R-CA-48), and Rep. Valadao, David G. (R-CA-21)

“Having to two separate federal agencies responsible for implementing the Endangered Species Act is bad for the species the law is intended to protect, and bad for Americans trying to comply with the law,” said Rep. Calvert. “I have introduced the FISH Act to establish a more consolidated and logical management of our endangered species and our rivers. My legislation will provide stakeholders and our habitats a more uniform approach to managing threatened and endangered species.”

The ESA is currently administered by FWS and the Commerce Department’s NMFS. The FWS has primary responsibility for terrestrial and freshwater organisms, while the responsibilities of NMFS are mainly marine wildlife such as whales and anadromous fish, such as salmon.  The Federally Integrated Species Health Act would transfer the NMFS’ ESA responsibilities for management of anadromous and catadromous species to the FWS.