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June 13, 2008

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Discussion Topic: Saltwater Anglers May Face $25 Registration

From The New York Times:
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is proposing a rule that would require recreational anglers and spearfishers who fish in federal ocean waters to join a national registry.

The agency is trying to close an information gap about the exact number of saltwater anglers and their effect on fish populations. The proposal would require the registration of those who catch fish like striped bass, salmon and shad that spawn in rivers and streams but spend their adult lives in estuaries and the ocean.

The agency wants anglers to register each year, beginning in 2009. Registration would be free until 2011, when a fee, probably $15 to $25, would be imposed. [The proceeds of which would go to the United States Treasury.]

“We expect that we may get some resistance to it,” said Monica Allen, a spokeswoman for the NOAA Fisheries Service.

Will any of that resistance come from you?



No resistance here. Once again the sportsmen will foot the bill to protect the environment. The information is important to make sensible effective rules and preserve species and anglers will begrudgingly get acknowledged for providing the funds. In some forums that's as good as our publicity gets.


I resist.

If they can show me their Constitutional authority, then I can only complain about the amount of the fee. Otherwise, this seems like nothing more than a Hoover on our wallets and a further intrusion by bloated federal bureaucracy.

I have to seriously question their motive when the proposal exempts anglers on licensed party or charter craft. Aren't they the ones taking the most fish? IF indeed the goal of the registration is to survey the catch, then survey the people doing the most catching.

Otherwise, butt out and get out of my wallet.

Incrementalism is at work here. The next thing you know, the NOAA will want to create a coastal patrol, equipped with officers with police powers and a small navy of speedboats so they can patrol the waters, checking for registrations, handing out tickets and assessing fines.

(Grumpy today - long week.)


Count another 'Against' vote! On several grounds.
1. What authority does NOAA have to do anything like this, they ought to at least try getting weather forcasts right before messing with complicated stuff like fishing!
2. Who is going to survey the Russian, Canadian and Japanese trawlers!?!!?
3. The money going to the US Treasury isn't going to do bupkiss to help the environment, the @holes in congress will spend it any damn way they please!

Blue Ox

One more vote for 'Nay'!
Uncle Sam takes enough of my hard earned money through taxes and whatnot.
What exactly is 'federal ocean', anyway? I'm not the expert, but since when did anybody 'own' the ocean?

go coastal

This sounds like crap. We already pay licence fees to state and federal agencies to monitor such things. Also the money spent on these licenses does actually go towards managing the fishery in your area whether it be inland or coastal. This money usually pays the salaries of biologist and technicians who manage the fishery in your particular area, environmental protection and improvement, recreational access areas. Basically there are many agencies already collecting this data. N. Carlina, for example, already does this with the Marine recreational survey that is partly funded by the saltwater fishing license. I would rather pay more to the state, atleast I would know my money was being used to help manage the area I fish.


No more fishing for me!


Count another for NO!!

As it stands in my state of NJ, I don't need a saltwater fishing license. But basically this will mean that I do. Now I have never had a problem with having to get Freshwater licenses and hunting licenses. I understand the importance that they play in the management and therefore the ensurance that we CAN hunt and fish. And one of the main reasons that I don't have a problem with this is that I know the money from those goes to MY STATE's budget of wildlife management.
I really don't like the idea of my money being collected on the grounds of the government using it for saltwater management, and then it being spent on wellfare or some other waste that Congress feels like spending money on.

In principle, and in terms of the larger overiding goal for wildlife management, i like this.
Just not done this way


We really need to fight this one. Our government has hundreds of agencies that could assign user fees for anything they see fit. They have no direct accountability to the people they are taxing. The money they collect may go into protecting fish, but who knows, this agency is filled with global warming alarmists and bureaucrats whose only purpose is to grow government. Finally, this gives federal agents a reason to board any fishing boat and check for licenses.


I went to the Federal Register and read the proposed regulation and commentary.

In my view, it is clearly a money grab. There is a public comment period, and citizens can officially register their opinion.


The regulation applies to "federal waters", generally that area within 3 miles of the shoreline. But the penalties follow you wherever you fish offshore. An angler who goes more than 3 miles offshore, outside of the so-called enforcement jurisdiction of the NOAA reg, will still be in violation if he possesses angling equipment and possesss any of the fish described in the regulation.

For example, take a day-trip from Florida to Bimini, fish in British waters, return to Florida with "British" fish. If you are not registered with NOAA, you are a lawbreaker. Same goes for Texans and Californians fishing in Mexican waters and Northeastern anglers in Canadian waters.

Is it a good idea to monitor the catch? Of course. But it should be voluntary and promoted to anglers as a way to participate in responsible stewardship.

I don't believe it is within the consitutional authority of the federal government to do so, compel me to submit to another license, take my money and make me a law breaker if I refuse to put my name on a database so they can call me and ask me what I caught, where I caught it, how big was it, what equipment I used and did I release it or cook it with garlic, extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice?


So, if I understand this correctly, they want me to pay to fish and the money will go to the Treasury and not toward some sort of fish management program or legislation?!?

Here’s the deal: I fish off of the NJ coast and have been catching fewer and fewer fish (that can be ate) each year. It sounds like they want to take money from me and not do anything about the amount of fish I catch—just get a number of fish I keep (however, when the size limit is 17.5 inches for a Fluke, it’s hard to catch many keepers). If they really wanted to do a fish count, they could start with the Trollers that are absolutely devastating the fish numbers in NJ’s waters. Just think about how much money the recreational fisherman puts into the local economies, compared to the commercial fishermen. Now they want to charge us an extra fee to fish each year, yet the fishery is only decreasing. This will only give one more reason not to fish and spend money to the recreational fisherman.


several states already do this. so long as the money goes to conservation, protection and management, I'm all for it.


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