US anglers get a voice in fisheries management
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America’s 11 million saltwater recreational anglers are to be given a voice on how their fisheries are managed.
At last week’s Progressive Insurance Miami Boat Show, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced the launch of a new national policy that will involve angler input into existing and emerging concerns, including public access to fisheries, fishery sustainability and regulatory accountability suited to the unique nature of recreational fishing.
NOAA Fisheries Administrator Eileen Sobeck launched the policy, which has been put together following input from the fishing and boating community, conservation organisations and managers from across the US.
“With many of the nation’s fish populations recovering strongly, fuel prices dropping and the economy rebounding, we anticipate 2015 will be a busy and exciting year for recreational fishermen,” said Sobeck. “With this policy in place, the stage is set for NOAA and the recreational fishing community to work more closely than ever before to address the priorities of anglers while working to ensure these resources are sustainable for the enjoyment of future generations.”
Johnny Morris, Founder of Bass Pro Shops, and Scott Deal, President of Maverick Boats, were instrumental in calling for this national policy through their non-governmental Morris-Deal Commission Report: ‘A Vision for Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries’.
Input from anglers directly helped to formulate the policy’s goals, which include:
- Supporting and maintaining sustainable saltwater fisheries resources, including marine and estuarine habitats;
- Promoting saltwater recreational fishing for the social, cultural and economic benefit of the nation;
- Enabling enduring participation in, and enjoyment of, saltwater recreational fisheries through science-based conservation and management.
An implementation plan will be released within the next 60 days with regional proposals to follow in the coming months.