Aquatic Stewardship Education in Theory and Practice

Reconciling Fishing and Boating Promotion with Safe, Sustainable Use

Bob Wattendorf and Jon Lyman


Abstract: Fishery management agencies face the potentially opposing missions of fostering participation in consumptive recreational activities (fishing, boating) and, at the same time, managing to maintain, restore, protect, and conserve sometimes fragile fisheries resources. We discuss how two conservation agencies representing states as geographically, biologically, demographically, and climatically different as Florida and Alaska address the challenges of promoting recreational fishing use, while trying to sustain fragile fisheries resources and provide quality fishing opportunities for all types of anglers. In both cases, promotion of recreational fishing within appropriate constraints and with well-tailored outreach and conservation education messages are considered justified and necessary to the future of healthy fisheries and their continuing management.