Fishing, as well as hunting, is strictly regulated on the state and federal levels in the US. As the country is the fifth largest producer of fish in the world, certain ramifications for commercial fishing and sportfishing are required. Today, fisheries are regulated by regional fishery management councils and the National Marine Fisheries Service. These organizations cooperate to avoid overfishing and exhaustion of the ecosystems. NMFS impose individual fishing quotas and assure protection of the marine areas. For the commercial fishing, people need to register their vessels and acquire licenses which differ from one state to another.
Sportfishing is also regulated by state agencies. They issue fishing licenses for non-commercial purposes such as recreation and sport. Licenses allow anglers to fish a certain range of species within the state waters. Licenses comply with the Endangered Species Act which prescribes that more than 150 marine species inhabiting the Atlantic and Pacific coast are endangered at the moment. Anglers may purchase a license for just any period; commonly, people get a seasonal permit, but a day, week, or even lifetime licenses are also available.
Taking into account huge commercial fishing in the US, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration became eligible to set limits for all species in 2012. The environmental legislation targeted at the fishing industry touched upon recreational fishing as well. It concerned limiting the season and amount of fish which can be angled. Strict limitations helped certain species in the Washington district to survive and expand their populations.