What may happen in vast areas of the Pacific Ocean could easily happen in the Atlantic or the Gulf or the Great Lakes – well, anywhere – unless we take action to stop it! Here’s the problem and the action needed:
NMMA’s Mat Dunn (the same guy who was so effective in stirring boating to action for passage of the Clean Boating Act of 2008) has just put out an industry-wide call to action again. This time, it’s to head off the pressure by anti-recreational fishing groups to ban angling in large areas of the central Pacific.
Contrary to Presidential Memos and an Executive Order directing federal agencies to sustain recreational fishing in federal marine protected areas and all federal waters, these anti-fishing groups are actively pressuring the Bush Administration to ban recreational angling. While their current target is along the Pacific coast, it represents an extremely dangerous precedent that could transfer to any U.S waters, salt or fresh. As an industry very dependent on recreational anglers, we cannot afford to see this happen.
In spite of the fact that there is no evidence regulated recreational fishing presents a threat to fish stocks or is harming the ecosystem in these areas, some environmental groups are waging a major campaign to convince senior officials in the White House and in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that recreational fishing should be banned in thousands of square miles in the Central Pacific. Right now, these groups are reportedly flooding the White House with letters.
It’s time we pushed back, and hard! You and your employees can help prevent undue restrictions on the public’s right to access our federal waters in general. President Bush has spoken clearly that recreational fishing should be considered a sustainable activity, and we need to remind officials in the government about the importance of angling and boating access, and why it is improper to close off huge areas of the ocean to recreational fishing when there is no scientific justification for doing so.
The White House is taking public comments only until this Sunday, Oct. 26, 2008. So, we must act now. I urge all those in the marine industry, as well as boaters and anglers who I know read this blog, to help in this counter-offensive and let the President’s advisors hear from our side, not just those who want to shut down fishing access.
Moreover, Dunn has put together an easy way for you to strike back right now via the Internet. Just use the following link. Once there, you’ll hit the “Take Action” button, simply type in your name and email address, etc., (you don’t have to write a letter or anything else) and send a message opposing the proposed fishing bans will instantly go to the White House. Here is the link: http://capwiz.com/nmma/home/