Recreational fishing endangered in America

Culled out
Public input period for federal fishery strategy has ended

By Robert Montgomery
ESPNOutdoors.com
3/10/2010

The Obama administration has ended public input for a federal strategy that could prohibit U.S. citizens from fishing some of the nation’s oceans, coastal areas, Great Lakes, and even inland waters.

This announcement comes at the time when the situation supposedly still is “fluid” and the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force still hasn’t issued its final report on zoning uses of these waters. Fishing industry insiders, who have negotiated for months with officials at the Council on Environmental Quality and bureaucrats on the task force, had grown concerned that the public input would not be taken into account.

“When the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) completed their successful campaign to convince the Ontario government to end one of the best scientifically managed big-game hunts in North America (spring bear), the results of their agenda had severe economic impacts on small family businesses and the tourism economy of communities across northern and central Ontario,” said Phil Morlock, director of environmental affairs for Shimano.

“Now we see NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the administration planning the future of recreational fishing access in America based on a similar agenda of these same groups and other Big Green anti-use organizations, through an Executive Order by the President. The current U.S. direction with fishing is a direct parallel to what happened in Canada with hunting: The negative economic impacts on hard-working American families and small businesses are being ignored…

…Unless more anglers speak up to their Congressional representatives so their input will be considered, it appears the task force will issue a final report for “marine spatial planning” by late March. President Barack Obama then could possibly issue an Executive Order to implement its recommendations…

The article continues at ESPN

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