NOAA announces partnership to promote sustainable recreational fishing

Memorandum of Agreement with recreational fishing organizations would provide opportunities for saltwater anglers.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced it signed off on a Memorandum of Agreement with several recreational fishing organizations, Feb. 15. The meeting of the minds would allow for NOAA Fisheries and NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries to promote what the federal agency describes as the “greater social and economic benefits from sustainable recreational fishing and boating.”

Joining in on NOAA’s Memorandum of Agreement, which was reached at the Miami International Boat Show, were American Sportfishing Association, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.

“Saltwater recreational fishing is a staple of coastal communities around the country,” NOAA Fisheries’ Assistant Administrator Chris Oliver stated in his formal announcement of the accord.

“The Agreement, a milestone for NOAA, bolsters public-private sector cooperation promoting sustainable and responsible recreational fishing and boating opportunities in federal waters, including National Marine Sanctuaries. It establishes a formal framework for communication and collaboration on mutually beneficial projects which will help advance NOAA Fisheries’ goals of supporting and promoting sustainable saltwater recreational fisheries for the benefit of the nation,” Oliver continued.

Oliver acknowledged the contributions anglers and boaters make to the economy.

“According to a 2018 study by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, outdoor recreation represented 2.2 percent of the U.S. economy in 2016, with boating and fishing being the largest contributor within the recreational sector of the economy,” Oliver stated in his announcement. “With the activities of more than 10 million saltwater anglers having supported 472,000 jobs, generated $68 billion in sales impacts, and contributed roughly $39 billion to the Gross Domestic Product that same year, I am enthusiastic about NOAA’s continued collaboration with the recreational sector and support for outdoor recreation as a driver of our Blue Economy.”

Signing off on the Memorandum of Agreement at the Miami International Boat Show were John Armor, NOAA’s director of national marine sanctuaries, Sam Rauch, NOAA’s deputy assistant administrator for regulatory programs and Frank Peterson, President and CEO of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.

“This partnership will not only help improve fishing and boating experiences overall, but also support the conservation of our marine aquatic resources,” Peterson said, adding the Memorandum of Agreement facilitated NOAA’s angler recruitment, retention and reactivation efforts.

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