Recreational fishing is a multi-million dollar industry in southern New England. But fishermen are keeping an eye on how climate change will alter their industry.
About 60 recreational fishermen from across New England gathered in Rhode Island to hear presentations on the economic importance of their industry. What had everyone talking, though, were the changes going on underwater. Officials from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management said warming water temperatures are changing the types of species fishermen can catch. The President of the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association, Steve Medeiros, says it’s important to hear about such changes and do whatever they can to protect the species with low stock levels.
“I guess one important thing is that we have to make sure that there are fish out there and healthy stocks in the future," Medeiros says. "Or nobody is going to want to go fishing anymore.”
Medeiros says his organization is crafting a plan to ensure recreational fishing will thrive for the next generation.