An important coalition of recreational fishing and boating groups recently submitted recommendations for the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force’s Interim Framework for Effective Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning.
The coalition was made up of the American Sportfishing Association, Bass Anglers Sportsmen Society, Berkley Conservation Institute, Center for Coastal Conservation, Coastal Conservation Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, International Game Fish Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Shimano Sport Fisheries Initiative, and The Billfish Foundation.
The groups took the opportunity to again reiterate the important economic contribution made by recreational fishing and boating. They noted that saltwater recreational fishing contributes over $82.2 billion in sales and $24 billion in income to the economy, and provides over 533,000 jobs. And in 2008, recreational boating directly and indirectly impacted 337,758 jobs with a labor income of $10.4 billion. In addition, there are nearly 12,000 marinas in the United States which serve as gateways to both salt and freshwater resources and the Great Lakes.
The coalition supports increasing coordination among federal and state agencies that manage or regulate our oceans and coasts. They noted that improving coordination is a commendable goal and efforts should be made to achieve it. They went on to urge that such an effort not occur at the expense of established management regimes.
Copies of the coalition’s recommendations are available on the Coastal Conservation Association’s Web site.