DOVER (Dec. 15, 2010) – Delaware anglers are exempt from a new federal saltwater fishing registration fee that will take effect on Jan. 1, 2011, since the First State established its own free saltwater angler registry in 2009.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently announced that the fee for anglers registering with the National Saltwater Angler Registry will be $15 for non-exempt anglers, spear fishers and for-hire fishing vessels, as authorized by a 2006 federal law enacted to aid NOAA in assessing the health of fish and the economic contributions of anglers.
Delaware fishing regulations administered by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife were amended as of Jan. 1, 2009 to require that all anglers age 16 and older fishing in state waters obtain a Fisherman Information Network (F.I.N.) number, giving name, address, phone number and whether or not they intend to fish in tidal waters. Anglers, including residents 65 and older who are not required to purchase a Delaware recreational fishing license, must keep the number with them while fishing and be able to produce it for a law enforcement official.
Delaware is one of 22 out of 24 coastal states that opted to create its own registry to satisfy the federal requirements and earn exempt status. To obtain a Delaware F.I.N. number or for more information, anglers may visit www.delaware-fin.com, or call 800-432-9228. Live operator assistance is available between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. by calling 866-447-4626.
The National Saltwater Angler Registry is part of a major initiative to improve how NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service gathers, analyzes and reports recreational fishing data. The goal of the Marine Recreational Information Program, or MRIP, is to ensure that the data scientists and fisheries managers need to effectively conserve our nation’s ocean resources is available, accessible and held to the most exacting scientific standards.