New Report Urges Modernization in Federal Fisheries Management

Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation press release … 

New Report Urges Modernization in Federal Fisheries Management

 

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Fishing the sunset by Matt Adams

October 19, 2016 (Washington, DC) – The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), along with the nation’s leading fishing conservation organizations and trades associations, today released a landmark series of recommendations for the incoming Administration and the new Congress that strive to balance improving access to public waters, creating economic growth, and enhancing the conservation of marine fish stocks. The guidance for federal policy-makers in A Vision for Marine Fisheries Management in the 21st Century: Priorities for a New Administration calls for an end to antiquated federal policies that have inhibited a vital source of economic growth and a proud American tradition.

The Vision report highlights the economic value of recreational fishing in coastal waters. Today, 11 million American anglers fish for recreation in saltwater. From license sales to retail sales, the recreational saltwater fishing industry contributes more than $70 billion annually in economic activity and generates 455,000 jobs. However, outdated federal management policies threaten to stem this positive economic trend.

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The report recommends a shift away from using the same tools to manage commercial fishing and recreational fishing at the federal level. New approaches should reflect the reality of demand for recreational access to our marine fishery resources, the current economic activity associated with that access, and the scientific data of the light footprint recreational access has on our fishery resources.

“While our highly successful model of inland recreational fisheries management is often envied by countries around the world, in many cases federal management of our marine recreational fisheries continues to struggle in meeting the needs of the angling public,” said CSF President Jeff Crane. “The Vision document provides recommendations that will bring federal fisheries management into the 21st Century, enhancing both the conservation and economic contributions of America’s anglers.”

Additional contributors to the report include American Sportfishing Association, Coastal Conservation Association, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, International Game Fish Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Recreational Fishing Alliance, The Billfish Foundation, and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

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