January 26, 2012
New Rules Will Determine Saltwater Season Limits on East Coast
By Chad Love
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (try saying that five times fast) is rolling out new parameters to determine recreational saltwater fishing harvest estimates, the results of which help determine seasonal limits all along the eastern seaboard.
From this story in the Boston Herald:
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on today announced that it’s using a new way to estimate the amount of fish caught by recreational saltwater anglers on the Atlantic Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico, the result of years of work on how to make the numbers more accurate. The new estimates will have an impact on millions of fishermen and those who make a living from recreational fishing.
Eastern and Gulf Coast fish-management groups will use the estimates and other information about fish populations to make decisions about limits on catches of many species of fish, such as striped bass in the mid-Atlantic and red snapper in the Gulf.
"Better, more accurate estimates of anglers’ catch are important to sustainable management of fisheries," said Eric Schwaab, NOAA’s acting assistant secretary of commerce for conservation and management. It’s not easy to measure the catch from an estimated 11 million U.S. saltwater anglers, Schwaab said. Those estimates are based on sample dockside and phone interviews. The new methods address problems found in a National Research Council study finished in 2006.
What do you think, saltwater anglers? Is this a good thing, a bad thing, or a "we'll have to see" thing?