Discussion Topic: On the Federal Saltwater Fishing-License Requirement

Earlier this week, blogging about the controversial new federal saltwater fishing-license requirement, Fishing Editor John Merwin asked, in essence, whether you think saltwater fishing should be an inalienable right or a somewhat-limited privilege. Here's another question: Will the new federal requirement--like it or not--have a positive affect on the sport? Will it eventually pump money into the resource and help managers make the right decisions--or not?

Here's one opinion from Connecticut's Norwich Bulletin:
Problem is, state agencies and the feds have used what is often slow-coming information, designed for observing general trends, to micromanage marine recreational fisheries on a much smaller scale than intended.

The management mistakes that have piled up during recent years have come to a head.


This is why the federal government required all marine anglers to register, so fishermen can be contacted promptly. . . in order to compile a more timely and realistic database. . . so decisions in the future aren't based on stale information.

As all of us who fish for fluke, stripers, scup, sea bass and most recently in Florida, for red snapper know, the system is a mess and needs fixing.
. . .

The federal registry and individual state marine recreational fishing licenses are a step toward cleaning up this huge mess.

Do you agree?