NOAA 2005-R104
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Susan Buchanan
2/17/05
NOAA News Releases 2005
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


NOAA ROLLS OUT RECREATIONAL FISHERIES STRATEGIC PLAN

With input from recreational fishing constituents, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has developed a plan defining a common vision for the future of recreational fisheries and a strategy to achieve that vision. NOAA and recreational fishing leaders announced the plan this week at the Miami Boat Show, the site of a pledge last year by government officials to develop the strategy.

“The Recreational Fishing Strategic Plan sets goals that both government and recreational fishermen agree on and lays out a game plan for making that happen,” said Bill Hogarth, director of NOAA Fisheries Service. The plan is part of NOAA’s continuing efforts to protect, restore, and manage the use of coastal and ocean resources through an ecosystem approach to management.

Marine recreational fishing supports nearly 350,000 jobs and generates $30.5 billion in economic impact to the nation annually.

Hogarth describes the plan as a contract between the agency and America’s 13 million saltwater anglers. The plan identifies a common goal – building healthy fisheries and creating opportunities for the public to enjoy these natural resources through recreational fishing. It is part of NOAA’s commitment to revitalize the recreational fisheries program by strengthening relationships and building partnerships within local and regional communities.

Over the past year, nine public workshops were held with anglers from across the country to solicit input. These public meetings provided anglers the opportunity to work alongside the cross-agency NOAA team to craft the plan. The plan outlines strategies aimed at improving science and management of recreational species and their habitats, keeping anglers informed about and involved in the management process and promoting marine stewardship.

“The recreational fishing community has been involved throughout the planning process and we like what’s been done so far,” said Rob Kramer, president of the International Game Fish Association. “However, in reality this is just the beginning. To continue the process, this plan will require a sustained effort and will need to involve everyone – coastal states and communities, scientists, managers and the fishing public.”

NOAA’s next step is to implement a pilot program that brings everyone together to develop a detailed working plan based on the strategy.

The NOAA Fisheries Service is dedicated to providing and preserving the nation’s living marine resources and their habitat through scientific research, management, and enforcement. The NOAA Fisheries Service provides effective stewardship of these resources for the benefit of the nation, supporting coastal communities that depend upon them, and helping to provide safe and healthy seafood to consumers and recreational opportunities for the American public.

The Commerce Department’s NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

On the Web:

NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov

NOAA Fisheries Service: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov

Recreational Fishing Strategic Plan: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/recfish

Recreational Fisheries Service Branch: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ocs/rf_home.html