NOAA 2000-125
Contact: Gordon Helm


NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service and BoatU.S., the nation's largest organization of recreational boaters, are working together to promote recreational marine fishing conservation and education activities. The agreement, signed Friday, will further efforts to engage boaters and anglers in marine resource preservation.

The agreement also will help BoatU.S. (Boat Owners Association of the United States) promote the importance of marine sportfishing and responsible fishing practices to future anglers.

"We are delighted to enter into this partnership. BoatU.S. is uniquely capable of delivering our conservation message to the boating and fishing community," said Penny Dalton, NOAA Fisheries director. "Marine anglers are an important and growing constituency. This agreement will engage them in the fish management process and keep the lines of communication open through a respected advocacy group."

"Today's anglers are more sophisticated about fishery management issues than their counterparts of a generation ago,"said Richard Schwartz, chairman and CEO of BoatU.S. "This partnership provides an excellent opportunity for BoatU.S. to continue its education of today's anglers and tomorrow's fishermen."

The agreement addresses two elements of the
NOAA Fisheries Recreational Fishery Resources Conservation Plan: promoting public education and support for marine resource conservation and angling ethics; and establishing partnerships for environmentally responsible expansion of recreational fishing opportunities.

To implement these goals, the agreement establishes a framework for the two organizations to develop collaborative programs. One such program, The Ethical Angler®, is already underway. This joint project is designed to help experienced anglers educate newcomers about responsible fishing practices. In that project, the two organizations are distributing a code of angling ethics developed by NOAA Fisheries and redesigned for the consumer angler market by BoatU.S.

BoatU.S. is the largest organization of recreational boaters in the world. Founded in 1966 to represent the interests of recreational boaters and to promote boating safety, BoatU.S. has grown to over 500,000 members. The BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water reaches millions more boaters and anglers every year with safety education campaigns and environmental stewardship information.

NOAA Fisheries is responsible for the stewardship of living marine resources and habitat extending over more than two million square nautical miles of ocean and coastal areas known as the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone. NOAA Fisheries conducts activities that will increase commercial and recreational fishing opportunities by conserving, restoring, and enhancing marine eco-systems and fish populations; by increasing fishing access; education and outreach; and by creating and strengthening intergovernmental and non-governmental partnerships.