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Communicate and Engage with the Recreational Fishing Public

One of NOAA Fisheries most important responsibilities is to involve interested members of the public in our fact-finding, evaluation, and decision-making processes. Industry, anglers, and others are affected by these actions and decisions and want to have a voice in shaping outcomes. It is important to ensure that interested stakeholders have the opportunity to contribute to the science and decision-making in a meaningful way. An engaged and informed constituency results in better science, decision-making, and buy-in, which facilitates effective solutions that make the best use of taxpayer dollars and best serve the public. Actions supporting this guiding principle include:

Listen, respond, and seek to improve understanding.

  • Create formal and informal opportunities to communicate with anglers and gain feedback about messages, products, and channels of distribution. Seek to better understand what anglers want to know and how they would prefer to receive that information. This will include hosting bi-annual webinars with the recreational community and attending major community events.
  • Increase the amount of content (e.g., feature stories, videos, alerts) relevant to anglers.
  • Make information more readily available by tapping into new and existing resources for distributing content (e.g., social media, fishing publications) and creating new partnerships (e.g., with states, fishing organizations).
  • Maintain strong working relationships and open lines of communication with community leaders to ensure regular dialogue and a policy of “no surprises.”
  • Work with interested stakeholder groups to host regular roundtable discussions in each region to strengthen relationships and share information.

Provide opportunities for meaningful engagement.

  • Identify opportunities for angler engagement in major NOAA Fisheries actions and decision-making that affect recreational fishing.
  • Improve coordination with NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries to increase angler participation in marine protected resources regulatory processes and data collection opportunities.
  • Utilize the full suite of available tools (e.g., webinars, in-person meetings, online comments) to provide opportunities for all who wish to engage.
  • Follow up with anglers about resulting agency actions or decisions.

Provide relevant NOAA information in an efficient and consistent manner.

  • Test and implement mobile platforms as a way to communicate fishery regulations.
  • Improve coordination among NOAA line offices by strengthening relationships and improving communication processes.
  • Pull together NOAA Fisheries staff and our state and Council partners to create recreational fishing data communications teams in each region to improve stakeholder understanding and access to catch and effort information.
  • Strengthen internal communication and outreach capacity by providing training to regional recreational fisheries coordinators.

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