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Help! Fishing under attack again

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:


10 comments on “Help! Fishing under attack again

  1. Doug Reimel

    I personally don’t think the Bush administration will step on the recreational fishing rights of Americans. However, providing Oboma is elected President I am quite certain squashing american freedoms will be under attack. After all why would you go fishing if at the end of the day the goverment was waiting for you to return from your day on the water. Knowing they were going to redistribute the catch to everyone that chose to sit in their easy chair and watch Beavis And Butthead waiting for the government to send them their portion of YOUR catch.

    So! why won’t we as a collective whole bring suite against these groups. We should attack them were it hurts. Just like they are attacking us were it hurts, the pocket book. They are content to take away out source of income, lets take some of theirs. I guess their goal is to put us all on welfare so they can say “I told you I know whats best for you “. We could use the Grow Boating Assessments that WE as DEALERS are charged for every outboard motor we purchase. The article on incorrectly states the manufactures pay these fees. What does Dammrich get paid to lead this growboating campaingn that continually extorts money from the dealer network. Again I am just disappointed that I did not think of this for a source of income.


  2. John Donaldson

    Norm and all readers,

    Norm could not be more on point here with regard to the agressive expansion of NOAA initiatives in “managing” the oceans [and Great Lakes]. They have recently published their draft management plan for the “Joint Management Plan” meaning Cordell Banks, Gulf of Farallones, and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries – approximately 7500 square miles of open North Pacific ocean. The plan is almost 550 pages long and seeks to regulate dozens of activities including management strategies for the existing Marine Protected Areas (no fishing areas) within those boundaries.

    All three of these National Marine Sanctuaries encompass state of California waters, yet the lead California boating agency, the Department of Boating and Waterways had no official participation in any of the process.

    The point is that NOAA has an agenda, at least along the Pacific Coast, that is very closely aligned with advocacy organization who believe human exclusion and especially motorized access bans are good management strategy. There is no doubt in my mind that this approach is endorsed by senior management of NOAA in Washington DC. One way to slow this exclusion of recreational activities from both the state and federal waters of these Marine Sanctuaries is to do as Norm suggests. Otherwise your fishing may be confined to inland lakes and rivers, and your boating confined to places you can paddle a kayak to.

  3. Ed McKnew

    How many guys go fishing in the middle of the Pacific? I love your blog, Norm, but this post sounds just a little hysterical.

  4. Arch

    DEMOCRATS would do ANYTHING to further their agenda. To protect animals, they will ban guns. To protect threatened fish, they will ban fishing. You have no idea what they are proposing behind the scenes due to Global Warming. Obama said it himself….
    “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,”.

    It’s a FACT they use this mentality to push their agenda.

  5. Gary Fooks

    Guys – welcome to my world. This area Norm is talking about is not US territory and out here the anti fishing lobby is strong , successful and growing.

    In the north of my state in Australia the 700 mile long Great Barrier reef was the most underfished reef in the world – now 33% of area is closed off to fishing – but they took the best , most accessible 33% so its closer to 75%.

    On Sunday my home bay – Moreton Bay had 16% by area closed off.

    Australia is a very dry country so maybe 85% of our fishing is bays and ocean

    One, just one of the anti fishing groups just advertised for two new staff for a total salaries of $130k, while the national peak fishing body struggles on a budget of $100k.

    Every single time one of these proposed bans comes to an area the local fishers mostly say “they wont do that HERE” and then they do it.

    Another example? In Germany you have to do a long course ( I think 40 hours ?) and pass a test just to get a fishing licence . Then there is no catch and release and no competitions of any sort.

    Guys – push hard very hard. Do not for a minute sit back and say “it wont happen here”

  6. Tim Jacobs


    Ed…..that is dangerous thinking. It can, is, and will happen. The anti-everything crowd will not stop until all water contact of any kind is banned…..they are taking little nibbles now, hoping that thinking just like yours will be prevalent…than they just start slicing off bigger and bigger chunks of the water until it’s all theirs….

    The Central Coast of California was slammed by the MLPA crowd, and they are working hard to grab huge chunks of the North Coast…Southern CA will be next. Once the left leaning liberals in CA give all the water rights to the envir-nuts, they will move north. Hopefully, the resistance up there is strong….cause they are coming.

    If you rely on boating access or recreational fisherman to keep your business alive, you best wise up and pay attention folks.

  7. Jim

    Since its inception in 1999, the MLPA has been used to close off all recreational fishing access to certain areas of the state’s coast, and new sections will be considered for closure in So Cal.
    The more educated and aware the boating community is the better. It has been proven that
    Marine Protected Areas can be located in such a way as to minimize their impact on local economies
    while providing a high level of protection for ocean resources.
    In Southern California, every square foot of water from Santa Barbara to Mexico is someones favorite spot. This is why California’s recreational fishermen, along with others in the conservation community, are mobilizing and getting involved in the process to ensure resource and access.
    Closing areas to fishing does not take into account the economics of recreational sportfishing and our
    communities that depend on these revenues. The impact in significant. In Calif. alone, saltwater
    recreational fishing generates 2.3 Billion ( with a “B”) a year in economic activity.
    In addition, sportfishing in Calif. also generates more than $20 million a year to the State for conservation programs from excise taxes imposed on fishing tackle and federal motor boat fuel taxes.
    The President recently signed a historic amendment which ensures that federal agencies must
    maintain recreational fishing on federal lands and waters, including marine protected areas in
    recognition of the conservation impact of recreational anglers. By allowing responsible recreational fishing and boating in marine protected areas and federal waters a strong precedent is set
    that all coastal and Great Lake States should follow.

  8. Tim Jacobs

    In California, some major money comes from the Packard Foundation. Julie Packard, and her Monterey Bay Aquarium group, throw huge amounts of money towards closing any and all access to her bay and coast “hands off” agenda.

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