NATIONWIDE — The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced last month the annual fee to register under the National Saltwater Angler Registry increased to $29; the updated fee officially went into effect Jan. 1.
NMFS and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) increased the annual fee by $4. Anglers have been required by NOAA and NMFS to register with the National Saltwater Angler Registry program since January 2011; the $25 annual fee has been in effect since Aug. 1, 2013.
The national fishery is required to review its fees every two years and adjust the annual fee to reflect changes in administrative costs, official stated in the announcement on The Federal Register.
The annual registration fee applies to all anglers, spear fishers and fire-hire fishing vessels. Indigenous people, as defined under federal law, are exempt from paying the NOAA-mandated fee.
Registering with the National Saltwater Angler Registry, according to NOAA, helps federal officials keep track of recreational anglers and the catches they make.
“Registration is a way for NOAA and anglers to work together to help ensure the long-term future of saltwater fishing. The registry [serves] as a national ‘phone book’ of anglers, allowing NOAA to quickly and easily reach current fishermen to learn about their most recent fishing activities,” NOAA staff stated. “That information is a crucial part of our ability to estimate the health of fish stocks, and to check that protections put in place to preserve fisheries will be fair, effective, and based on sound science.”
NOAA states the United States is home to about 25 million saltwater anglers who make about 100 million fishing trips per year and generate more than $82 billion in sales.
The annual fees are deposited into the federal treasury and not designated for any specific purpose.