The Future of Saltwater Recreational Fishing
Congress is currently revising the law that governs the United States' marine resources, which is why a commission composed of anglers, scientists, conservationists, and more are trying to make sure that saltwater recreational fishing is not overlooked as a major priority.
The Commission on Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Management are making the following recommendations:
• Establishing a national policy for recreational fishing
• Adopting a revised approach to saltwater recreational fisheries management
• Allocating marine fisheries for the greatest benefit to the nation
• Creating reasonable latitude in stock rebuilding timelines
• Codifying a process for cooperative management
• Managing for the forage base
"Congress should establish a national policy to promote saltwater recreational fishing,” said Mike Nussman, president and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association. “In addition, Congress must open the ‘rusted-shut’ door of marine fisheries allocation to achieve the greatest benefit to the nation.”
It's the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) that's currently being revised by Congress.“The Magnuson-Stevens Act established a management system for commercial fisheries, which has made great strides in ending commercial overexploitation of our marine fisheries,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Coastal Conservation. “However, for more than three decades it has focused primarily on commercial fishing. It’s time for Congress to do something for saltwater recreational fishing.”
The economic impact of saltwater angling in the U.S. is considerable. In 2011, approximately 11 million Americans saltwater fished recreationally, spending $27 billion in pursuit of their sport. That activity generated more than $70 billion in economic output and sustained 450,000 jobs. Anglers contribute more than $1.5 billion annually to fisheries habitat and conservation via excise taxes, donations and license fees alone.
If you're still wondering why any of this matters or the numbers don't mean much, then you gotta check out the video below. It serves as a great visual for why recreational fishing is often overlooked, but in reality holds just as much importance as commercial fishing in its own way.
Click here if you want to learn more about the commission's vision for the Magnuson-Stevens Act and the future of saltwater recreational fishing in America.