In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, concerned sportsmen groups have produced a report with recommendations for restoration of the Gulf of Mexico’s fisheries, fish and wildlife habitat, and economy following last year’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
“This report enables policymakers to frame decisions informed directly by recreational anglers – one of the most important stakeholder groups in the Gulf,” said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP). “We took the time with our partners to forge specific recommendations representing the strong consensus of recreational anglers throughout the region.”
According to the TRCP, recreational fishing in the Gulf of Mexico contributes $41 billion in economic output in the Gulf Coast region annually and supports more than 300,000 jobs.
“As awful as this crisis and its fallout have been, an opportunity exists to reset some of our fisheries management and habitat protection practices in the Gulf with targeted investments that should have been taken before the spill,” said Ken Haddad of the American Sportfishing Association.
The TRCP report “presents recommendations on habitat restoration and improvement, both inshore and offshore, such as research on sargassum beds and the creation of new reefs. It offers guidance on improving fishery monitoring, data collection, and research management, such as funding more frequent full new stock assessments.
“The report also addresses the impacts on recreational fishing businesses, along with angler interest and confidence, and advises how to publicly promote fishing in the region as well as how to remove impediments to fishing.”