NOAA announced that the fee for registering with the National Saltwater Angler Registry will be $15 as of January 1, 2011. The change affects anglers, spear fishers and for-hire fishing vessels in Hawaii, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and U.S.V.I., although some anglers are exempt.
Fishermen in other coastal states are exempted from the federal requirement when they comply with state saltwater license or registration regulations. Twenty-two of the nation's 24 coastal states have saltwater angler registries or licenses and have been exempted from the federal requirement because they are providing registry information to the National Saltwater Angler Registry.
For more information or to register, visit http://www.CountMyFish.noaa.gov
or call toll-free 1-888-MRIP-411
A bill to provide a free registry in N.J. has passed in the Assembly by a 54 to 16 vote, but the companion bill in the Senate (S1122) is stuck in the Senate Environment Committee chaired by Sen. Robert Smith (D-Piscataway). Unless that bill is posted for a vote, N.J. anglers will be paying the $15 federal fee described above. That federal fee will do nothing for the fisheries, as it goes to the Treasury rather than to NOAA. Anglers should urge their state senator to pressure Smith to allow a vote on the free registry bill.