New app for anglers also helps fisheries management

By The Miami Herald on February 7, 2013:  To spread the word about the new Angler Action data collection program for recreational fishers, Rick Roberts hosted Ed Liccione and several friends on a daylong charter fishing trip off Miami aboard the Miss Britt recently.

The fishing was slow, but Liccione, of Queenstown, Md., caught and released a large barracuda on a wreck south of Miami Beach.

Roberts, executive director of the Sanford-based, non-profit Snook and Gamefish Foundation, decided to enter the ‘cuda into the Angler Action database using an application on his smartphone.

Angler Action, which Roberts helped develop, enlists recreational fishers in collecting information on more than 100 species of salt and freshwater fish found in Florida waters. Data on what they catch, where they catch it, whether they get shut out, and whether or not they keep or release a fish is intended to assist state and federal fisheries managers in assessing the health of stocks. And Roberts says the program also empowers anglers by giving them a strong voice in fisheries management.

“We want to create a partnership between us and people who do governance,” Roberts said. “We’re trying to make their job easier. More information is better than not enough. Data speaks louder than words.”

Sitting on the deck of the Miss Britt, Roberts found that had neglected to include barracuda — probably because it’s not a managed species and not considered great table fare. But as one of the top predators of the reef, the ’cuda occupies an important role in the marine ecosystem.

So Roberts called his web manager and had the long, toothy silver and black fish entered in the database that same day.

Read more here: