April 04, 2022
Hundreds of anglers gathered last week in Arlington, Virginia to advocate for healthy and abundant saltwater fish stocks in U.S. federal waters managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and to discuss related concerns at the 2022 National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Summit. Conservation- and science-minded fly anglers felt they had a particularly strong presence at the quadrennial conference.
“We were able to deliver a message that’s a little bit different than what they’d been hearing from the recreational (fishing) community for a long time,” Tony Friedrich, Vice President and Policy Director for the American Saltwater Guides Association (ASGA), said. Friedrich was a featured panelist at the Summit.
“All we ever really wanted was a seat at the table and we got it…One of the most surprising things about his whole process was how many different views there are in the recreational community and the fact that so many of them are really, ‘What can fishery management do for me?’ and ‘How can I kill more fish?’… Some of the voices in our own sector aren’t really thinking beyond next quarters’ profits.”
The theme for the 2022 Summit was “Recreational Fisheries in a Time of Change,” and the four main topics covered were: Climate Resilient Fisheries; Balancing Ocean Uses (offshore wind energy development, aquaculture, and fishing); Data Collection and Use; and Management Reform, Flexibility, and Optimum Yield.
For more reaction to the Summit, visit the ASGA’s website and listen to the Guide Post podcasts and read angler and attendee Charles Witek's blog post.