If you’re a recreational angler, Catch Shares are coming to a fishery near you.
As it did with creation of the National Ocean Council, the Obama Administration is following an agenda set by green groups. This time around, that means expanding a management strategy for ocean fisheries that critics say is inherently anti-fishing and really is more about big-government intrusion into the sport than caring for the resource.
Some also charge that, at its worst, Catch Shares is a variation of a much discredited cap-and-trade energy policy, in which government limits access and gives away a public resource for commercial profit by a few.
But at least the latest news is good. With the release recently of its Catch Shares policy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its administrator, Dr. Jane Lubchenco, seem to be heeding the concerns of sportfishing advocates.
“It’s clear that NOAA’s leadership was listening at its Recreational Fishing Summit last April when the entire spectrum of the recreational angling community, from guides to tackle manufacturers to charter boat operators, voiced its apprehension regarding this policy,” said Mike Nussman, president and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA). “A number of significant improvements called for by participants at that summit and in subsequent dialogue with the agency are reflected in this document.”