Monday, March 22, 2010

NJ Assembly approves Bill for Free Saltwater Registry Legislation

With nine months to go before New Jersey's saltwater anglers could be forced into paying for a federal saltwater registry program, the state's full Assembly approved a bill (A823) to create a free, state-run saltwater angler registry in New Jersey.

The vote by the New Jersey Assembly clears the way for Senate discussion regarding the companion bill (S1122), which if also passed and signed by the governor would exempt all recreational anglers who fish in New Jersey coastal waters from having to pay NOAA to store their name and contact information on file.

The legislation would meet new federal requirements mandating that the contact information of individuals who engage in recreational fishing within state coastal waters be collected in a state registry database.

As mandated by the Magnuson Stevens Act, federal surveyors who keep track of recreational fish harvest will be required to use the new saltwater angler registry to contact fishermen about their fishing habits.

As of 2010, most anglers fishing in New Jersey coastal waters are required to register with the federal government in an effort to improve data collection (visit for details).

As of 2011, NOAA has said they may begin charging anglers up to $25 apiece to register online with the federal system, unless states come up with their own system of gathering angler information.

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