Wicker Asks NOAA Official About Saltwater Recreational Fishing Management

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a senior member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today asked a top official from the National Marine Fisheries Service at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) about improving saltwater recreational fishing management.

Last month, Wicker introduced legislation to encourage regional fishery management councils to update their policies for recreational anglers that access mixed-use fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. Current guidelines for commercial fishing operations prove difficult to implement for recreational anglers and severely restrict fishing seasons for these individuals.

The “Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act” would also encourage NOAA to develop partnerships that improve its recreational fishing data collection and work to incorporate non-federal data, which is often better than traditional data streams.

Wicker’s questions came during a subcommittee hearing to examine the state of America’s fishery laws and help lay the groundwork for reauthorizing the “Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.”

Witnesses at today’s hearing included:

Mr. Christopher Oliver, Assistant Administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Dr. John Quinn, Chair, Council Coordination Committee and Northeast Fishery Management Council