Angling for Healthy Oceans
Whether you live in a seaside town or a thousand miles from the nearest coastline, our oceans provide so much to every American's life. From the solace of a beach vacation, to the seafood at a favorite restaurant or even the fuel for your car and the rain that sustains our nation's agriculture, we all depend on the oceans that surround us. Those recreational fishermen that spend time on the ocean are most connected to the ebb and flow of the sea and the bounty it can provide.
But the oceans around us and the fisheries that saltwater anglers enjoy are in trouble. Fish populations are declining dramatically, and many species have high concentrations of contaminants from pollution making them inedible or subject to consumption warnings. The coastal habitats so critical to the marine ecosystem are being destroyed for development or are damaged by overuse. Algal blooms supported by fertilizers that enter the water through runoff are causing massive dead zones. Damage to the coastal zone and sea floor impacts habitat critical to the life cycle of many fish species. Increased energy development threatens important fish and wildlife resources (see Angling 4 Oceans CAST Principles). The list of challenges our oceans face is extensive.
Two independent commissions recently documented these challenges and outlined strikingly similar recommendations to improve the health of our oceans and marine fisheries conservation. At the same time, a proactive effort to improve habitat for fisheries is being developed through the National Fish Habitat Initiative. Through the NFHI, coastal habitats that are so critical for marine fish can be improved and strides can be taken in addressing the problems outlined by the Commissions. With success at Tackling Magnuson, Angling 4 Oceans will be focusing on marine and coastal conservation.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy Report — An Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century [PDF]
Pew Oceans Commission Report — America's Living Oceans: Charting a Course for Sea Change [PDF]
Joint Ocean Commission (a partnership of the two commissions)
National Fish Habitat Initiative