The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is proposing a rule that would require recreational anglers and spearfishers who fish in federal ocean waters to join a national registry.
I would think that this would inevitably provide much better data on numerous types of anglers. For example, in many states, charter boats and head boats get blanket coverage for their passengers. This allows their clients to avoid buying individual licenses. This, however, provides significant limitations for statistical sampling of anglers who participate in for-hire fishing. NMFS does sample these anglers using onsite sampling (intercept), but this result in a type of statistical bias which can be difficult to correct. This type of registry would likely give much better insight into the true population of these types of anglers.