NOAA announces new national policy for America’s saltwater recreational anglers

Today at the annual Progressive Insurance Miami Boat Show, NOAA Fisheries Administrator Eileen Sobeck announced a new national policy to better serve America’s 11 million recreational saltwater anglers and the companies and communities that rely on them. The National Marine Manufacturing Association (NMMA), which runs the boat show, hosted today’s briefing for media and constituents.

Recreational fishing is an important national pastime that supports 381,000 jobs and generates in $58 billion in annual sales impacts, according to a NOAA 2012 report. NMMA reports recreational boating is a $36.8 billion industry and creates more than 338,526 marine industry jobs, supporting 34,833 businesses.

The policy – crafted with input from recreational fishing and boating communities, conservation organizations and managers across the nation – reflects anglers’ voices on a number of existing and emerging concerns, including public access, resource stewardship, regulatory education, science innovation and better lines of communication between state and federal rule makers with the community.

“With many of the nation’s fish populations recovering strongly, fuel prices dropping and the economy rebounding, we anticipate 2015 will be a busy and exciting year for recreational fishermen,” said Sobeck. “With this policy in place, the stage is set for NOAA and the recreational fishing community to work more closely than ever before to address the priorities of anglers while working to ensure these resources are sustainable for the enjoyment of future generations.”

Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops, and Scott Deal, president of Maverick Boats, were instrumental in calling for this national policy through their non-governmental Morris-Deal Commission report, A Vision for Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries.

Recreational fishermen’s input directly helped to formulate the policy’s goals, which include:

  1. Supporting and maintaining sustainable saltwater recreational fisheries resources, including marine and estuarine habitats;
  2. Promoting saltwater recreational fishing for the social, cultural and economic benefit of the nation; and
  3. Enabling enduring participation in, and enjoyment of, saltwater recreational fisheries through science-based conservation and management.

An implementation plan will be released within 60 days of today’s release, with regional implementation plans to follow in the coming months. To view the policy, visit

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the leading association representing the recreational boating industry in North America. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters and anglers throughout the U.S. and Canada. The association is dedicated to industry growth through programs in public policy advocacy, market statistics and research, product quality assurance and promotion of the boating lifestyle. For more information, visit

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and our other social media channels.

On the Web:

National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Policy, February 2015:

A Vision for Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries, February 2014:

One comment

  1. I think we should start putting signs up at all fresh water and saltwater landings that ask people to put out their cigs, cigars but not throw them in the water we all know how toxic these butts are. On the large fishing boats put them out in the bait receiver drop them in the trash. It would not cost each landing that much to post these signs and also post on all charter boats ocean and fresh water. I have seen some people do this and I thank them for not throwing them in the water. Just a thought from an old surfer and fisherman.

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