Category Archive 'National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration'

12 Jun 2008

Now They Want to License Fishing in the Ocean

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I bet you didn’t even know that there was a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or that it had a National Marine Fisheries Service. I didn’t myself.

There’ve been so many complaints about the weather recently that you can tell they’ve been doing a lousy job of administering the oceans and the atmosphere, and that Marine Fisheries Service has never once delivered fish and chips to my house. But it is clear those federal bureaucrats in charge of the waters and the air and lords of the fish that swim in the sea have other ways of occupying their time.

They’re now proposing to license sport fishing in the ocean. They don’t even really want the money. The states get to keep it in return for selling the licenses. But that way, they can keep better track of us, you see.

The Boston Globe has the story.

The only thing anyone’s ever needed to sportfish off New England’s coast is a rod, reel, and good luck.

Now, the more than 2.5 million people who fish for fun here will probably need a license.

The federal agency that manages fishing announced yesterday that it intends to require most saltwater anglers to register before fishing begins in 2009 and plans to start charging for the privilege by 2011.

Fishery officials have grown increasingly concerned about how many fish the nation’s recreational fishermen reel in from the ocean each year.

“This will lead to better stock assessments and more effective regulations to rebuild and manage these valuable fish,” said Jim Balsiger, acting assistant administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service.

The rule will mean most fishermen – whether fishing from a dock, beach, or a boat – will have to have a permit. State waters within 3 miles of shore aren’t normally covered by federal rules. But the new regulation would apply to fishermen who might catch any species that travels between fresh and saltwater, such as striped bass, one of the most popular New England sportfish.

Progressive states, like California, have already thought of this.

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