Alexandria, VAOctober 17, 2008 – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NFMS) announced in the October 17, 2008, Federal Register that the requirements set by Executive Order 13449 which established striped bass and red drum as gamefish have been fulfilled. NMFS determined that the current rules banning the sale of striped bass and red drum caught in federal waters in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico achieve the intent of Executive Order 13449, signed by President George W. Bush on October 20, 2007.

“This ruling ensures that striped bass and red drum will survive and grow for generations of anglers to enjoy,” ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman said. “We are very pleased that NMFS has completed this ruling ensuring that federal waters will be closed to commercial fishing for these important gamefish.”

Executive Order 13449 established gamefish status for striped bass and red drum in federal waters. Gamefish status means that the two species are provided regulations and management measures to promote their well-being as a fish sought for recreational fishing and not for sale if caught in federal waters.

This announcement insures the recreational, economic and environmental benefits of two of the most popular gamefish in the United States. The order protects the fisheries in federal waters from commercial harvest, which include three miles to 200 miles offshore. The Order does not cover state waters, which go from the coastline to three miles offshore. Many states have conferred gamefish status for these species and the executive order encourages those that have not conferred gamefish status to do so. The announcement on October 17, 2008 signifies that the regulatory requirements of the executive order were fulfilled.

The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association, committed to looking out for the interests of the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry a unified voice, speaking out on behalf of sportfishing and boating industries, state and federal natural resource agencies, conservation organizations, angler advocacy groups and outdoor journalists when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. We invest in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic and conservation values of sportfishing in America. ASA also represents the interests of America’s 40 million anglers who generate over $45 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for over one million people.