Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, attended last week's America's Great Outdoors Conference to highlight recreational fishing as an important part of America's outdoor legacy and future.
"We're talking about how we can collect best ideas on conservation; how we can pursue good ideas that local communities embrace; and how we can be more responsible stewards of tax dollars to promote conservation," said President Obama in his opening remarks at the conference.
After his remarks, President Obama issued a memorandum instructing federal agencies to promote and support outdoor recreation and look for community-based models for conserving natural resources.
After the morning events at the Department of the Interior, Dr. Lubchenco brought the President's message about the value of recreation to Alexandria, Va., where she joined more than 100 constituents at the NOAA-sponsored 2010 Recreational Saltwater Fishing Summit.
"Recreational fishing is good for the nation's soul and good for the nation's economy," said Dr. Lubchenco to summit attendees. "NOAA is committed to working with the recreational fishing community. And I am here to tell you that NOAA is not only listening, but we are also ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work with you."
The summit aimed to strengthen the relationship between NOAA and the recreational saltwater fishing community and is the latest in a string of actions NOAA has taken to meet commitments outlined in Dr. Lubchenco's recreational fishing engagement initiative.
Facilitated discussions at the Summit highlighted a range of issues, including the quality of recreational catch and effort data, catch share programs, and representation on regional fishery management councils, as well as potential ways to address them.
NOAA will work with the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, regional councils, and constituents to build an action agenda that follows through on the progress made at the Summit. The action agenda and summary of the Recreational Saltwater Fishing Summit will be posted on the NOAA's Fisheries Service website, http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov, in the coming weeks.
"Resolving issues facing our fisheries today will require partnerships between resource managers and users," said Eric Schwaab, NOAA assistant administrator for NOAA's Fisheries Service. "I commit that NOAA Fisheries will focus on addressing the issues of concern to the recreational fishing community with the utmost disciplined attention."
NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources. Visit us at http://www.noaa.gov or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/noaa.lubchenco.