31 December 2008

National Marine Fisheries Service Issues Saltwater License Rule

The Federal Register of 30 DEC 2008 contains a final rule issued by the National MarineFisheries Service (NMFS)and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that will require approximately 2.5 million New England anglers to pay $15-25 each year to fish in saltwater, effective 01 JAN 2010:

"NMFS issues this final rule to adopt regulations to implement the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). The regulations establish a national registry of recreational anglers fishing in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), for anadromous species in tidal waters or for Continental Shelf fishery resources beyond the EEZ. Persons will not be required to register with NMFS if they are licensed by a state that provides data determined to be sufficient for the agency's needs. The requirement is intended to improve existing angling effort surveys in order to improve their efficiency, to reduce possible sources of bias and to improve confidence in survey results by anglers and fishery managers."

www.Boston.com: "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."

Read the entire final rule: NMFS/NOAA Final Rule

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