Federal Law and Fisheries Service's Final Rule
P.L. 109-479 required the Department of Commerce secretary to establish a “National Saltwater Angler Registry” by January 1, 2009 and allows a fee to be charged beginning January 1, 2011. (NOAA's fisheries service established the registry program and released its final rule on the program in December 2008.) The law requires people to register who fish in EEZ, for anadromous species, or for Continental Shelf fishery resources beyond the EEZ. This would appear to exclude people who are within three miles of the shore and not fishing for anadromous species.
However, NOAA's fisheries services, which has oversight of the registry program, in its December 2008 discussion of its final rule concerning the registry, calls for the registry to include all recreational fishermen who saltwater fish. The pertinent part of the December 30, 2008 Federal Register (Vol. 73, No. 250) entry describes the law's scope and then states:
“Therefore, some salt water anglers fishing in state waters would not be required to register under this section, although they may be subject to permitting and other requirements under other sections of the MSA [Magnuson-Stevens Act]. Accordingly, it is necessary for states and [the fisheries service] to work in collaboration to build registries of saltwater anglers that include anglers currently excepted from, or not covered by, state license or registration requirements and that also include anglers who are fishing for nonanadromous marine fish in state waters (p. 79706).”
Accordingly, the program's Final Rule, RIN 0648-AW10, requires anyone fishing where anadromous fish are present to register (50 CFR § 600.1416).
The law already gives the federal government the sovereign right and exclusive fishery management authority over all anadromous species throughout the migratory range of each such species beyond the EEZ; except that management authority does not extend to such species during the time they are found within any waters of a foreign nation (16 USC § 1811).
The U.S. Congress, through the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006, required the federal government to create a national registry of saltwater anglers. Effective January 1, 2010 anglers and for-hire vessels were required to register through the National Saltwater Angler Registry, administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
A bill signed by Governor Christie on February 22, 2011, led to the creation of the New Jersey Saltwater Recreational Registry Program. The state registry is free and required of saltwater anglers even if currently registered under the federal program. Those registered with the state program do not need to also register with the federal government
In 2006 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was charged with the creation of a universal phonebook – or registry – of all current saltwater anglers in the United States. The registry was developed to allow NOAA to quickly and easily contact current saltwater anglers in an effort to gain more accurate and timely information on recreational fisheries. States were allowed to establish their own registry program for saltwater anglers that fished in their state. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection established its own registry program, the New Jersey Saltwater Recreational Registry Program, to exempt saltwater recreational anglers fishing in New Jersey’s marine and tidal waters from the federal registry and the $15.00 federal registration fee imposed in 2011. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) implemented the New Jersey Saltwater Recreational Registry Program (NJSRRP) effective May 4, 2011 through Administrative Order No. 2011-05.
The registry is an important tool that will help fishermen and policy makers work together to better account for the contributions and impacts of saltwater anglers on ocean ecosystems and coastal economies. It is part of a national overhaul of the way NOAA collects and reports recreational fishing data. The goal of the initiative - known as the Marine Recreational Information Program, or MRIP - is to provide the most accurate information possible that can be used to determine the health of fish stocks. Reliable, universally trusted data will in turn aid anglers, fisheries managers and other stakeholders in their combined efforts to effectively and fairly set the rules that will ensure the long-term sustainability of recreational fishing. For more information, visit www.CountMyFish.noaa.gov.
This Registry is NOT a License. New Jersey does not have a saltwater license
NOTE: Anglers with a valid registration with the National Saltwater Angler Registry or have a valid license from another exempted state are required to register (for free) with the NJ Saltwater Recreational Registry Program. Registration with NJ will exempt you from having to register with the National Saltwater Angler Registry.
Individual saltwater anglers ages 16 and older MUST register if ANY of the following criteria are met:
- Recreationally fish with a hand line or rod and line, spearfish or fish by hand
- Recreationally fish in the marine and fresh tidal waters of the State of New Jersey
- Recreationally fish in marine waters outside the State of New Jersey but land the catch in New Jersey
Individual saltwater anglers are EXEMPT from registering if either of the following apply:
- Under the age of 16
- Solely fish on for-hire (party and charter) vessels that are registered with the New Jersey Saltwater Recreational Registry Program
For-hire vessel owners/operators MUST register if:
- Carry individuals who engage in recreational fishing in the marine and fresh tidal waters of the State of New Jersey
- Carry individuals who engage in recreational fishing in the marine waters outside the State of New Jersey but land their catch in New Jersey
WHAT DO I NEED TO PROVIDE IN ORDER TO REGISTER?
If registering as an individual you will need the last four digits of your social security number in addition to your name, address, date of birth and phone number. Emails are optional, but providing one will permit the computerized registration system to send you a confirmation of your registration. Click on the "New Registration" button or "Renew Any Registration", if you've been registered before and it will take you right to the registration page.
If registering as an owner/operator of a For-Hire Vessel you will need to provide the last four digits of your social security number, your name, address, date of birth, phone number and either the United States Coast Guard Documentation Number or the Registration Number and state of the Vessel you are registering. If your boat has a name you should also provide that information. Click on the "New For-Hire Registration" button or "Renew Any Registration", if you've been registered before and it will take you right to the registration page.
What if I do not have a Social Security Number?
All these tasks can be done by clicking on the Access Current Registration link below.