Top photo by John McMurray
As the Biden administration and Congress begin to tackle the challenges of fisheries management, especially the impacts of climate change, they will find recommendations and actions for federal fisheries management and marine conservation efforts in a new report released by the American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA). The Network’s National Policy Council member, John McMurray, policy advisor, Charles Witek, and Deputy Director Tom Sadler helped draft AFFTA’s blue-ribbon report.
The report provides a comprehensive and systematic approach, identifying the challenges and offering recommendations that can strengthen marine fisheries conservation and management and lead to more abundant marine fisheries in all U.S. ocean waters to benefit both recreational and commercial users.
The blue-ribbon report breaks down recommendations into three main categories: recover imperiled and overfished species, manage for abundant recreational fisheries, and address critical threats to sustainable fisheries.
Some of the key recommendations are below:
Recover Imperiled and Overfished Species
- Continue to implement the conservation requirements in the Magnuson-Stevens Act
- Extend proven conservation requirements to fisheries managed by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission
- Recover wild salmon and steelhead in the Pacific Northwest
Manage for Abundant Recreational Fisheries
- Manage for abundance in U.S. recreational fisheries
- Ensure forage fish are managed in a way that acknowledges their role as a food source
- Improve the accuracy, timeliness, and compatibility of data collection in recreational fisheries
Address Key Threats to Sustainable Fisheries
- Protect wild fish populations from industrial finfish aquaculture
- Give managers tools to adapt to climate change impacts in the oceans
- Improve habitat protection and increase habitat restoration
AFFTA’s well-researched recommendations provide important guidance from the recreational fishing community in the ongoing effort to preserve and strengthen the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Our partnership with AFFTA is one of the many reasons why the Network is such a strong voice in the conservation of marine fisheries.
The full AFFTA report is available here.