B.A.S.S. has joined with six other organizations to voice concern about the possibility of recreational fisheries closures being implemented by the National Ocean Council, based on recommendations from the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee (MPA FAC).
Let’s be honest here: We’re playing against a stacked deck. Jane Lubchenco at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and others in this administration are determined to force us off the water, if not all at once, then a little bit at a time. And they’re going to keep relentlessly pushing that agenda until they no longer are in power.
The best that we can hope for until then is a holding action, anchored by organizations like B.A.S.S., the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, and others who sent a letter to NOAA and the Department of the Interior.
In that letter, they expressed the following concerns about the MPA committee’s recommendations document:
- The lack of recognition for the importance of recreational fishing to conservation efforts and the need to establish it as a national priority.
- The potential for the designation of large aquatic areas as MPAs that unjustifiably restrict or eliminate recreational fishing access.
- The need to define conservation as “the wise use of the Earth and its resources for the lasting good of men” to ensure that the reader understands that conservation is concurrently achieving the multiple objectives for sustained natural resource use.
They also said this:
“The treatment of recreational fishing throughout the MPA FAC document troubles our community and reflects an apparent misconception about the importance of recreational fishing to conservation efforts. Recreational use of our public waters is compatible with – and in fact is essential to – sound conservation and natural resource stewardship, as is highlighted by contributions made to such successful conservation programs as the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund.
“Since 1950, recreational anglers and boaters have (through this unique user tax on motorboat fuel, fishing tackle, and other sportfishing equipment) generated more than $5.7 billion in funding for fishery conservation and enhancement, habitat restoration, clean water programs and boating safety programs. In addition, fishing license sales generate nearly $650 million in annual revenues for state conservation and education programs.”
Read the entire letter here.
And tell your representatives and senators to defend recreational fishing against the threat posed by the National Ocean Council and its Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning.