NOAA Fisheries has announced plans to develop a national recreational fishing policy during its second national Saltwater Recreational Fishing Summit. The policy will broadly guide future actions and better integrate recreational fishing with NOAA Fisheries' mission.
More than 100 leaders from the saltwater recreational fishing community met with NOAA Fisheries leadership at the summit, held April 1-2 in Alexandria, Va., to provide an opportunity to assess recent progress, identify future directions and further strengthen the relationship between the two groups. With nearly 11 million saltwater anglers in the United States, recreational and non-commercial fishermen represent one of NOAA's largest organized constituencies.
"Resolving issues facing our fisheries today requires partnerships between managers, scientists and people who enjoy the resource," said Eileen Sobeck, assistant NOAA administrator for fisheries. "I commit that NOAA Fisheries will actively engage the recreational fishing community, and we will do our part to find cooperative solutions."
The meeting provided a forum for identifying important issues and collaborative solutions, including discussing the quality of the data used to count and characterize the recreational catch and fishing effort, on-the-water fishing experiences, sharing management priorities, and discussing the importance of healthy habitats.
"This summit is the latest in an ongoing conversation with the saltwater recreational fishing community," said Russell Dunn, NOAA Fisheries national policy advisor for recreational fisheries, "NOAA is committed to backing up words with actions like these."