fishing-related activities (NMFS 1995a), comparable to the contribution to the GDP of commercial fisheries. For some fisheries in which both commercial and recreational fishers participate (e.g., summer flounder [Paralichthys dentatus] and bluefish [Pomatomus saltatrix]), the recreational catch is a significant portion or even a majority of the total (Table 2-1).
Recreational and commercial fishers often conflict over management goals and methods for various fisheries. In some cases, recreational fishers are effective at influencing policy, as for example recent restrictions they supported on the use of nets in coastal waters of various states (including a legislative ban on gillnets in Texas in 1988: California's Proposition 132, which banned net fishing starting in 1990: a Florida legislative ban on coastal nets that passed in 1993: and a Louisiana legislative restriction on nets passed in 1994). In other cases, they are not successful. The allocation of available marine fisheries resources between commercial and recreational sectors is a major issue for regional fishery management councils and in the political arena. Some of the disputes and the differences—and occasional agreements—between commercial and recreational fishers are described in almost every issue of National Fisherman and Saltwater Sportsman: for a discussion of net bans, for example, see the August 1996 issue of National Fisherman. The resolution of such disputes and allocation controversies is made more difficult because recreational landings often are underreported or not surveyed. Serious allocation disputes have been limited thus far primarily