Entertainment & Sports Law

National Fishing Registry—and Fee—Planned for US Anglers

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A national registry for U.S. recreational anglers was proposed yesterday by the National Marine Fisheries Service, as part of a plan to keep track of the fish that are being caught throughout the country.

The registration requirement, which would begin next year, will not immediately require individuals to pay a fee, reports the Miami Herald. “After a two-year grace period, an estimated $15 to $25 would be added to the cost of fishing legally starting in 2011.”

Although cost to individuals might seem minimal, the national registration requirement could prove onerous to states. Those that don’t currently license recreational anglers may need to do so, and those that do may need to change their programs, the newspaper writes. In Florida, for instance, which has an estimated 2.77 million anglers—the most of any state in the country—licenses apply to those who fish from boats, but not to those who fish from shore.

One angler, however, wonders whether the national registry requirement will be enforced, the article notes.

”I’ve been fishing for 35 years and nobody has once asked for a license, so do you think I’m gonna worry about some national list?” says angler John Williams, who was fishing for small yellowtail snapper on Wednesday amidst thunderstorms at Anglins Pier in Lauderdale By the Sea. “Who’s gonna believe anything a fisherman says, anyway?”

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