CONTACT:
John Nelson: (603) 868-1095
Douglas Grout: (603) 868-1095
Liza Poinier: (603) 271-3211
January 5, 2007

Note: The meeting place has changed for Fish and Game's public information session on a proposed license for saltwater anglers. The session will be held on January 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the Elliot Alumni Center on the University of New Hampshire campus. Click here for directions.

Public Information Meeting on Proposed Marine Recreational Fishing License

DURHAM, N.H. -- The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department invites saltwater anglers in New Hampshire to a public information session to discuss proposed legislation for a marine recreational fishing license in New Hampshire. The meeting will be held on January 24, 2007, at 7:30 p.m. at the Elliot Alumni Center on the University of New Hampshire campus.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission has proposed a marine recreational fishing license as one of several options for new funding mechanisms and data gathering for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. The marine fishing license would generate new license dollars while providing "user funding" for Fish and Game's management of marine resources. It would also help Fish and Game identify saltwater anglers, something now required by the federal Magnuson-Stevens Act. The public information session will address these issues in addition to reciprocity with other coastal states and the concerns of party or charter boat owners.

The marine recreational license proposal under consideration will have a reciprocal nature, that is, any state recreational saltwater fishing license would be honored in adjoining states and federal waters. As with New Hampshire's freshwater fishing licenses, marine recreational licenses could be purchased online, and a one-day license option is being considered.

The Fish and Game Department, a self-funded state agency, is facing a serious financial shortfall. Revenue, including income from the sale of hunting and freshwater fishing licenses, has been flat, while the cost of doing business continues to rise. In recent years, Fish and Game has been forced to dip into its long-term savings, which will soon be gone, leaving no choice but to cut programs and services to make ends meet unless additional revenue sources are found.

At the same time, a recently passed federal law called the Magnuson-Stevens Act requires the federal government to implement a registry program for all marine recreational anglers as a means to improve the quality and accuracy of catch and effort data collected by the Marine Recreational Fishery Statistics Survey (MRFSS). Information from the MRFSS is regularly used in stock assessments that assist in the management of fish such as striped bass, cod, haddock, and bluefish. The Act also indicates that marine anglers would be exempt from this federal registry program if the State had a marine recreational fishing license. Currently, the Atlantic coast states of North Carolina through Florida, as well as all Gulf and Pacific coast states, require a marine recreational fishing license to fish in saltwater.

For more information on this meeting, contact John Nelson or Doug Grout at (603) 868-1095.

For more information on the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's funding situation, click here.

New Hampshire Fish and Game is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats.

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NH Fish and Game Dept.
11 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03301

603-271-3421
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