President Obama signed a proclamation on Sept. 25, 2014, creating the largest marine reserve in the world. The Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument will be expanded to six times its current size. But while commercial fishing will be banned, the reserve will remain open for recreational fishing.
“The President has said his agenda regarding access to public lands is going to be one that ensures the outdoors is available to the next generation,” says Mike Nussman, president/CEO of the American Sportfishing Association. “Acknowledging that recreational fishing is a sustainable use of a public resource, especially in one as pristine and special as this area of the Pacific, is a distinction for which the recreational fishing community has been advocating for many years.”
Nussman thanked the administration for making the distinction between recreational and commercial fishing.
In February, a Commission on Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Management introduced the report, A Vision for Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries. One of its key recommendations, says Nussman, calls for establishing a national policy for saltwater recreational fishing. “Acknowledging that recreational fishing is a sustainable activity in the world’s largest marine reserve,” he says, “is an important step in achieving this goal.”