Just one year ago, the Berkley Conservation Institute (BCI) announced its full endorsement of a landmark report written by the Morris-Deal Commission on Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Management. BCI was a major contributor to the work. The report included six recommendations to Congress and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the first for the federal government to establish a national policy on recreational fishing. NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service has responded, adopting a policy in line with the commission's ideas. The policy was announced by Eileen Sobeck, top NOAA administrator, during a press conference at the 2015 Miami International Boat show.
The policy identifies goals and guiding principals related to recreational fishing to be integrated into national fisheries planning, budgeting, decision-making and activities. The policy can be found at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/management/recreational/policy/index.html.
"BCI has been a strong supporter of the Morris-Deal Commission and the commission's report and fully endorses the NOAA policy," said Jim Martin, BCI Conservation Director. "The adoption of our first recommendation of a national policy is extremely significant for the future of the saltwater fisheries and the associated recreational angling. We commend NOAA for their dedication, commitment and support of the future of saltwater recreational fishing. We are confident the remaining recommendations will be adopted as well.
"The hard work and efforts of the American Sportfishing Association and the committee directed by Johnny Morris of Bass Pro Shops and Scott Deal of Mavrick Boats have led the way to this important national policy."