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Sportfishing Industry applauds introduction of MAPOceans Act

by American Sportfishing Association 21 Feb 18:04 UTC

Yesterday, Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Angus King (I-ME) introduced the MAPOceans Act. The American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the trade association for the nation's recreational fishing industry, appreciates this bipartisan effort to improve public access and publicly available information on federally managed marine waters.

"Navigating the complex web of fishing regulations, anchoring limitations and restricted areas can be challenging for America's anglers and boaters," said Mike Leonard, Vice President of Government Affairs at the ASA. "The MAPOceans Act would help American's nearly 9 million saltwater anglers access marine waters with more confidence, ensuring that recreational information is easily accessible through marine electronics, mapping apps, and online platforms. On behalf of the recreational fishing industry, we thank Senators Cruz and King for their leadership on this important legislation."

Once enacted, MAPOceans tasks the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to digitize and make available location data related to federally managed waters, such as no-wake zones, anchor restrictions, or vessel speed restrictions. It will also include navigation information and real-time fishing restriction information, such as no-catch zones and full or partial closures.

Additionally, MAPOceans directs NOAA to coordinate with community partners and fisheries commissions to ensure the data is updated regularly, remains accurate and is compatible with consumer technology.

The MAPOceans Act is a companion to the previously introduced MAPWaters Act (S. 3123), which directs the Department of Interior to undertake a similar process in making maps and regulations digitally available for federal land management agencies such as the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service.

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