By Karl Wickstrom
New Vision Report calls for fisheries management reforms to reflect superior value of non-commercial use.
“The doors to reallocation have long been rusted shut.”
Now that’s a strong and welcome one-liner coming as it does from the marine recreational fishing community.
The indictment of our largely broken federal fisheries system is part of what should be a policy manifesto for the future. It’s titled “A Vision for Marine Fisheries Management in the 21st Century: Priorities for a new Administration.”
The new report by the Center for Coastal Conservation and allied interests calls for modernization of a saltwater management machine that has been tainted by outdated preferences for large commercial takings, at the expense of the public good and economic well-being.
In short, rusted shut.
Not that these thoughts are new for those of us who have been wailing for so many moons against commercial bias and overfishing. Still, the Vision Report may be the clarion call we need for real change.
We especially like the report’s concluding paragraph:
“A new administration (of either political stripe) has a rare opportunity to haul in a remarkable trophy: sustainable, vibrant fisheries, thriving communities of recreational anglers passing on a cherished way of life, and millions of Americans in coastal towns and inland jobs alike benefitting economically from their passion. We cannot miss the opportunity.”
First Published Florida Sportsman Magazine January 2017