NOAA Fisheries has announced plans to develop a national recreational fishing policy during its second national Saltwater Recreational Fishing Summit. The policy will broadly guide future actions and better integrate recreational fishing with NOAA Fisheries' mission. More than 100 leaders from the saltwater recreational fishing community met with NOAA Fisheries leadership at the summit, held April 1-2 in Alexandria, Va., to provide an opportunity to assess recent progress, identify future directions and further strengthen the relationship between the two groups. With nearly 11 million saltwater anglers in the United States, recreational and non-commercial fishermen represent one of NOAA's largest organized constituencies. "Resolving issues facing our fisheries today requires partnerships between managers, scientists and people who enjoy the resource," said Eileen Sobeck, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries. "I commit that NOAA Fisheries will actively engage the recreational fishing community, and we will do our part to find cooperative solutions." The meeting provided a forum for identifying important issues and collaborative solutions, including discussing the quality of the data used to count and characterize the recreational catch and fishing effort, on-the-water fishing experiences, sharing management priorities, and discussing the importance of healthy habitats. "This summit is the latest in an ongoing conversation with the saltwater recreational fishing community," said Russell Dunn, NOAA Fisheries national policy advisor for recreational fisheries, "NOAA is committed to backing up words with actions like these." NOAA Fisheries held the first national saltwater recreational fishing summit in 2010 to kick-off the agency's recreational fishing engagement initiative. The event resulted in development of both national and regional action plans to guide agency activities. NOAA Fisheries committed to working with the fishing public, and coordinate with its advisory bodies, regional offices and science centers to update the national action plan to reflect ideas exchanged at the summit. NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NOAA , Twitter and our other social media channels.