Recreational Fishing Regulation Issues

The following is a collection of documents and links for anyone wishing to learn more about these issues. There is information about the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary recommendations, the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, and organizations that represent recreational fishing interests.

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
Advisory Council Draft Recommendations for Proposed Closures

It is important in the coming months that everyone with an opinion communicate with the FKNMS by email, or attend the meetings. In order to be notified of meetings and updates, you can use the following email address: floridakeysreview@list.woc.noaa.gov
Simply send an email and request to be added to the mailing list. Also, pay attention to notices in the newspapers. Attend the meetings, and speak up for what you think.

Click on the following links to view or download these documents:
Links to the FKNMS website:

Magnuson-Stevens Act

The Magnuson Stevens Fishery and Management Act of 1976 is the primary law that regulates fisheries management in US Federal Waters. The law expired at the end of fiscal 2013 and debate has begun on having the law reenacted.

There has been criticism that the law is geared to the Commercial Fishing Industry and not the Recreational Fishing Community. This is a concern because recreational fishing is the number one sport/pastime in the United States generating $41.8 billion dollars to the economy each year. As a result of this and other criticism, Johnny Morris, CEO of Bass Pro Shops, and Scott Deal, president of Maverick Boats, recognized that there was an opportunity to create a saltwater recreational fisheries management system that addresses the needs and goals of the saltwater angler. They invited a group of leaders and experts in the fisheries community to develop a vision for saltwater recreational fishing. Their report is titled “A Vision for Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries” (Spring 2014).

The good news is that the report has been very favorably received by Sen. Mark Begich, Alaska, chairman of the subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, and Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida, ranking member of that subcommittee. So, we are encouraged that the new law may include a management system for recreational fishing.

Click on the following links for more information:

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Other organizations

  • The following is a link for the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA):
    www.joincca.org
    This is the HOME website for the Association. It is a good website to review, BUT if you choose to join, which would be a very good idea, be sure to click on the Florida section so that you are registered as a member of CCA Florida. A link for CCA Florida is www.ccaflorida.org. To sign up for email updates, click on the Conservation Tag, Go down to CCA Newsroom, at the bottom of the page is a place to sign up for email updates. The following is a personal opinion. If you are willing to join one or both of these organizations, and you want to choose just one, it might be best to choose CCA Florida as it appears they are more active on our local level. Both organizations are very good however. It would be good for you to send them an email urging them to publicize what is going on with the FKNMS and asking that they start to put pressure on the Sanctuary and Politicians to force them to base decisions on GOOD Science and valid Economic Impact Studies. It would also add credibility and influence with CCA if you would join.
  • The following link will take you to the website for the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA):
    www.joinrfa.org
    This group is very involved with fishing issues nationwide. It is a good website to visit. It would also be good for you to send them an email urging them to publicize what is going on with the FKNMS and asking that they start to put pressure on the Sanctuary and Politicians to force them to base decisions on GOOD Science and valid Economic Impact Studies. It would also add credibility and influence with RFA if you would join. If you would like to receive email alerts from RFA, simply go to the bottom of the Home Page for RFA and click where it says you can to receive email alerts.

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