The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) announced today its formal endorsement of “A Vision for Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries” (i.e. the Morris-Deal Vision). The RFA joins a host of other industry and fisheries stakeholder groups, including the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA®), Yamaha Marine Group, the American Sportfishing Association, the Coastal Conservation Association and the Center for Coastal Conservation, in its support of the Morris-Deal Vision.
Co-chaired by Maverick® Boats president Scott Deal and Bass Pro Shops® founder Johnny Morris, the Morris-Deal Commission put forth a vision calling for commonsense saltwater fisheries management and requesting that the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) specifically address the economic, social and conservation needs of recreational fishing. Additionally, the Morris-Deal Vision calls for the needs of recreational fishing to be differentiated from those of commercial fishing in MSA.
“The RFA is pleased to support the tenets developed by the Morris-Deal Vision,” said Jim Donofrio, RFA Founder and Executive Director. “For the first time in many years, the industry and angler groups are united behind a common-sense framework that addresses many of the policy issues that remain after the last reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act in 2007. The RFA agrees wholeheartedly with the policy objectives set out in Morris-Deal. The goals of anglers and the marine industry have always been conservation, rebuilding and access, and now, with the proper tools in place, we can accomplish all of them by working together.”
The tenants of the Morris-Deal Vision form a list of recommendations that are largely focused on the next MSA reauthorization. The hope is that these recommendations will bring about a cultural shift in NOAA Fisheries to help ensure that sound saltwater recreational fishing policies are incorporated throughout the agency’s operations.
The Morris-Deal Vision recommends that reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act include:
- Adopting a revised approach to saltwater recreational fisheries management
- Allocating marine fisheries for the greatest benefit to the nation
- Creating reasonable latitude in stock rebuilding timelines
- Codifying a process for cooperative management
- Managing for the forage base
“Yamaha is very pleased to have the RFA join us in supporting the Morris-Deal Vision as RFA has long represented the needs of saltwater anglers throughout the United States,” said Martin Peters, Manager, Government Relations, Yamaha Marine Group. “As a result of this endorsement, we become a stronger voice for the U.S. recreational fishing community. When anglers everywhere raise a unified voice to Washington DC, we send a message that cannot be ignored, and, with RFA’s endorsement of the Morris-Deal Vision, our coalition takes a very important step toward achieving sound policy for the good of the American angler.”