Scottish MSP’s and fisheries managers need to take note – you are stuck in the past, most other developed countries recognise the socio-economic benefits of sea angling, have a strategy in place for its development and directly include its representatives in managing those inshore stocks and species which are key.
In the US, NOAA Fisheries Administrator Eileen Sobeck launched the policy, which has been put together following input from the fishing and boating community, conservation organisations and managers from across the US.
“With many of the nation’s fish populations recovering strongly, fuel prices dropping and the economy rebounding, we anticipate 2015 will be a busy and exciting year for recreational fishermen,” said Sobeck. “With this policy in place, the stage is set for NOAA and the recreational fishing community to work more closely than ever before to address the priorities of anglers while working to ensure these resources are sustainable for the enjoyment of future generations.”
Input from anglers directly helped to formulate the policy’s goals, which include:
- Supporting and maintaining sustainable saltwater fisheries resources, including marine and estuarine habitats;
- Promoting saltwater recreational fishing for the social, cultural and economic benefit of the nation;
- Enabling enduring participation in, and enjoyment of, saltwater recreational fisheries through science-based conservation and management.
Those goals are similar to the approach SSACN has long campaigned for in asking the Scottish Government to document and put in place a suitable strategy for the development of sea angling.
However, as evidenced by such as the behind the scenes changes in the Luce Bay SAC management proposals, it would seem Marine Scotland are not willing to ensure the future of sea angling which causes minimal ecological damage, in case it upsets the commercial sector.