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Go Fish! Meet Moira Kelly, Our New Recreational Fisheries Coordinator

Saltwater recreational fishing is an enormously popular American pastime, economic force, and contributor to conservation. Millions of people access America’s great outdoors through recreational fishing each year. Being out on the water strengthens families, friendships, and communities, and contributes billions to the national economy. In our region, millions of recreational fishing trips take place each year. Recreational fishing contributes $4.8 billion to our regional economy each year ($1.3 billion across New England and $3.5 billion across the mid-Atlantic in 2013). For-hire vessels, private vessels, and shore-based anglers harvest more than 75 million pounds of fish each year.

To support recreational fisheries in our region, Moira Kelly came on board in April as our Recreational Fisheries Coordinator. Moira has worked with NOAA Fisheries for more than a decade, most recently as the lead policy analyst for the summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries. She also served on Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) working groups that are working to use a new, improved survey method, as well as improved communication efforts, for the recreational fishing community. In her new role, Moira will make sure that decision-makers understand the issues and concerns that are important to the recreational community, and undertake agreed upon actions to promote recreational fishing.

Since 2010, we have made substantial progress in supporting recreational fisheries on the national and regional levels. In February 2015, we created a formal National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Policy. The main goals of this policy include:

• Support and maintain sustainable saltwater recreational fisheries resources, including healthy marine and estuarine habitats.

• Promote saltwater recreational fishing for the social, cultural, and economic benefit of the nation.

• Enable enduring participation in, and enjoyment of, saltwater recreational fisheries through science-based conservation and management.

To help reach these goals, Moira will help us address issues such as barotrauma, data collection from recreational anglers and charter captains, and enhanced communications and outreach. Her work will be guided by our Recreational Fisheries Implementation Plan. This plan is based on the national recreational policy that outlines specific tasks needed to support recreational fisheries in our region. Through this implementation plan and other work, Moira will continue talking and working with the recreational fishing community to promote open and diverse sustainable saltwater recreational fisheries.

If you have questions, contact Moira at 978-281-9218 or email her at

More information:

National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Policy 2015

National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Policy Implementation Plan