The Congress declares that the fish, shellfish, and wildlife resources of the Nation make a material contribution to our national economy and food supply, as well as a material contribution to the health, recreation, and well-being of our citizens; that such resources are a living, renewable form of national wealth that is capable of being maintained and greatly increased with proper management, but equally capable of destruction if neglected or unwisely exploited; that such resources afford outdoor recreation throughout the Nation and provide employment, directly or indirectly, to a substantial number of citizens; that the fishing industries strengthen the defense of the United States through the provision of a trained seafaring citizenry and action-ready fleets of seaworthy vessels; that the training and sport afforded by fish and wildlife resources strengthen the national defense by contributing to the general health and physical fitness of millions of citizens; and that properly developed, such fish and wildlife resources are capable of steadily increasing these valuable contributions to the life of the Nation.
The Congress further declares that the fishing industry, in its several branches, can prosper and thus fulfill its proper function in national life only if certain fundamental needs are satisfied by means that are consistent with the public interest and in accord with constitutional functions of governments. Among these needs are:
(1) Freedom of enterprise—freedom to develop new areas, methods, products, and markets in accordance with sound economic principles, as well as freedom from unnecessary administrative or legal restrictions that unreasonably conflict with or ignore economic needs;
(2) Protection of opportunity—maintenance of an economic atmosphere in which domestic production and processing can prosper; protection from subsidized competing products; protection of opportunity to fish on the high seas in accordance with international law;
(3) Assistance—assistance consistent with that provided by the Government for industry generally, such as is involved in promoting good industrial relations, fair trade standards, harmonious labor relations, better health standards and sanitation; and including, but not limited to—
(a) services to provide current information on production and trade, market promotion and development, and an extension service,
(b) research services for economic and technologic development and resource conservation, and
(c) resource management to assure the maximum sustainable production for the fisheries.
The Congress further declares that the provisions of this Act are necessary in order to accomplish the objective of proper resource development, and that this Act shall be administered with due regard to the inherent right of every citizen and resident of the United States to engage in fishing for his own pleasure, enjoyment, and betterment, and with the intent of maintaining and increasing the public opportunities for recreational use of our fish and wildlife resources, and stimulating the development of a strong, prosperous, and thriving fishery and fish processing industry.