Recommendations focus on marine conservation, public access and the U.S. economy
Washington, D.C. – October 5, 2020 – Along with the nation’s leading recreational fishing and boating organizations, the Center for Sportfishing Policy today released A Vision for Marine Fisheries Management in the 21st Century: Priorities for the Next Administration, a collection of recommendations to improve the way America’s federal saltwater fisheries are managed.
The Vision report highlights the economic value of recreational fishing in coastal waters and how outdated federal management policies act as roadblocks for the recreation economy’s positive economic trend. Today, 10 million Americans fish for recreation in saltwater, generating nearly $74 billion in economic activity and supporting 487,000 U.S. jobs.
“Fishing is a treasured pastime for millions of Americans, and we’ve made strides in recent years demonstrating to federal policymakers that it is a fundamentally different activity from commercial fishing and should be managed accordingly,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. “The Vision report is intended to help the next Administration and Congress foster recreational fishing and the economic and conservation benefits it brings to the nation.”
The report urges the next administration and Congress to enforce the Modern Fish Act of 2018 and follow through on applying management approaches that 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. Marine recreational fishing pumps billions of dollars into the U.S. economy while only accounting for 2 percent of finfish taken from our oceans each year.
“As America’s original conservationists, recreational anglers understand the value of healthy and abundant marine resources. In this report, we’ve identified several priority issue areas that warrant the attention of federal policymakers, helping to support conservation and public access to those resources,” said Mike Leonard, vice president of government affairs for the American Sportfishing Association and chairman of the Center for Sportfishing Policy’s Government Relations Committee.
Additional contributors to the report include American Sportfishing Association, BoatU.S., Coastal Conservation Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, International Game Fish Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.