Saltwater Angler Registry to Begin in 2010

To comply with federal law, unless states have a marine license or other program that supplies NOAA Fisheries Service with an accurate count of marine anglers, most saltwater anglers will need to register with the National Saltwater Angler Registry beginning January 1, 2010.

The Registry is an important part of the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) which has been initiated by NOAA Fisheries Service to improve estimates of recreational fishing activity.

Anyone who is angling or spear fishing for anadromous species (such as striped bass or American shad) in tidal waters or for any fish in federal waters (3 to 200 miles from shore for the U. S. east coast) will have to register.

Who Doesn’t have to Register?

Anglers will NOT need to register if they:

* Are under 16;

* Only fish on licensed charter, party or guide boats;

* Hold a federal recreational Highly Migratory Species or subsistence fishing permit;

* Are fishing commercially under a commercial fishing license.

Charter/party vessels (commercial for-hire vessels who take anglers fishing or spear fishing) will only need to register federally if they do not already have another federal permit or license for their for-hire activities.

What does it Cost to Register?

NOAA will not charge a fee to register in 2010, but expects to charge about $15 to $25 in 2011. Fees collected will go into the U. S. treasury. State license fees may be directed by the state to supplement state fisheries management programs.