The origins of sportfishing in the United States stretches back more than a century, to a time when resources were more robust and there were far fewer fishermen on the water than we encounter today. Recognizing that with privilege, comes responsibility, the mission of the Sportfishing Conservancy is to empower sportsmen to fulfill and celebrate their commitment to the sport and to real world conservation.
The Sportfishing Conservancy hopes to explore ways in which we can balance healthy resources with an increasing number of outdoor enthusiasts — both fisherman and others. This isn’t about turning back the clock; it is about stepping forward lightly — actively enjoying the great outdoors today, yet in a way that promotes sharing this incredible opportunity with future generations. Information and education are key to a vibrant future, and we pride ourselves in offering practical, real world solutions.
We are pleased to see regional ocean planning initiatives shaping up around the country. A collaborative, common sense approach to managing our ocean spaces and preserving our resources for future generations is long overdue. This process brings fishermen and other interests to the forefront of decision-making processes, providing us a mechanism to work alongside the states, feds and tribes. It provides our community an equal voice, ensuring that our interests are fairly considered when decisions are made around project siting, data collection, etc.
Sportfishing is not only a great American pastime, but it pours hundreds of millions of dollars into the economy each year. The West Coast Governor’s Alliance, the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Planning Bodies are all working with our community to better understand not only our spatial imprint, but also our economic contributions – essential elements often overlooked by decision makers. In particular, I am optimistic about the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic ocean plans, both of which take sportfishing into account on a regional scale.