We all benefit from a National Wild Fish Health Survey. Most especially, those of us who want
to preserve and protect our valuable wild and native stocks, those who enjoy recreational fishing opportunities,
and fishery managers that need sound biological information to better manage our Nation's resources.
Specific benefits include:
Fishery managers are faced with the dual mission of protecting wild stocks of fish and providing fish for recreational opportunities. Knowledge gained in the National Wild Fish Health Survey and accessed through a National Wild Fish Health Database will provide managers critical information for meeting their challenge. Knowledge of distribution of parasites and disease will allow managers to make sound decisions about control and containment strategies for areas or species that may already harbor a pathogen as well as identify areas or species where pathogens or parasites have not been detected and which may warrant special protection.
Over 50 million Americans engage in angling. Anglers will benefit from information gained from the survey because managers will have additional tools and information available to better manage for recreational fishing opportunities, both for wild stocks and for those managed through enhancement with cultured fish.
Throughout our country, income gained from tourist and trade associated with angling is an important part of the economy. Recreational fishing provides over 1.3 million jobs nationwide and generates over 70 billion dollars in total economic output. Information provided through the National Wild Fish Health Survey will provide additional measures to safeguard these precious resources ensuring the continued economic benefits from angling.
Information about the distribution of pathogens in wild stocks will help the aquaculture industry by strengthening the biological basis for laws and regulations that govern the transport and sale of aquaculture products. Information from the National Wild Fish Health Survey may show that in some places, regulations limiting or prohibiting movement of hatchery fish for commercial purposes can be relaxed for certain pathogens without jeopardizing wild stocks.