By Sarah Forman
Providence, R.I. – New state and federal laws require that non-exempt recreational fishermen either purchase a Rhode Island fishing license or register with a national registry before they can cast their lines in saltwater this year.
The registration and licensure are part of a program to get more information on ocean wildlife in the state, says Bob Ballou of the Division of Fish and Wildlife for the Department of Environmental Management.
"Through this process, we're going to ultimately be able to adjust our management programs in a way that makes them much more consistent with the level of effort that fishermen are putting in," he said, "And again, most importantly, help support the long-term sustainability of the fisheries that they depend on."
Registration is currently free with the National Saltwater Angler Registry, and state licensure is seven dollars a year for residents. Participation is mandatory.