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America Moves Towards an RSA Licence

Jul 02,2008 SACN

In an effort to quantify the number of saltwater recreational fishermen, and their impacts, the USA is proposing to introduce a national register of saltwater recreational fishermen.

Initially free to register, within two years they propose that recreational saltwater fishermen should pay for registration, in effect an RSA Licence. 


As mandated by Congress, as of Jan. 1, 2009, all recreational saltwater anglers fishing in federal waters must register with the National Marine Fisheries Service, providing their name, phone number and address.

Those fishing in state waters for striped bass and other species that reside in freshwater for part of their life cycle must also register.

Those fishing from boats-for-hire, such as party, charter or guided trips do not have to register because the federal government already surveys the captains of those vessels.

There will be no registration fee for the first two years, but a fee estimated between $15 and $25 is expected to be levied beginning in 2011.

Through Aug. 8, public comments can be submitted on the proposed rule to John Boreman, Director, Office of Science and Technology, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, Md. 20910 Atten: Gordon Colvin. Comments can be submitted electronically at www.regulations.gov

Commenting upon the proposals in their newsletter, the Recreational Fishing Alliance says:

"Last week NOAA Fisheries submitted their proposed rule for the federal recreational saltwater registry program.

As we have been advising you for the past 6 months or so, the federal government will be instituting a recreational saltwater registry starting in 2009.

This registry will be free for two years but in 2011, there will be an annual fee.

There is language in the proposed rule that allows for state anglers to be exempt from the registry requirement if their state has a similar registry-type system and the angler subscribes to that system.

There will be much more detailed information on this development in an article that will be run in the magazine in a few weeks time. "


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