(WASHINGTON - February 14, 2019) Included in the spending bill passed by Congress today was an important boost to efforts to modernize data collection of recreational fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. The bill included up to $10 million to implement electronic reporting on federally permitted charter-for-hire vessels in the Gulf of Mexico. In response Robert E. Jones, Gulf of Mexico Director for Environmental Defense Fund’s Oceans program released the following statement:
“Sen. Richard Shelby has once again delivered for the Gulf’s coastal communities. Continued funding for the electronic logbook program is a win for healthy fisheries and more stable fishing businesses.
“Reporting through electronic logbooks generates more real-time, verifiable, and high-quality recreational fishing data than the outdated paper reporting systems that are all too common in U.S. fisheries. Better access to more reliable data will help the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) better understand and manage overall fishing levels for charter fishing operators and the millions of American anglers who rely on their businesses to fish recreationally in the Gulf.
“We commend Sen. Shelby, without him electronic logbooks would not be on the water today.
“We look forward to working with NMFS to ensure the successful implementation of this important management tool, which will benefit Gulf fishermen and fisheries.”
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