Marine anglers should get ready for even tougher times in 2012, courtesy of closures imposed by the federal government. And freshwater anglers should be concerned as well. The same anti-fishing agenda is going to move inland as well, unless we stop it.
Passage of the Fishery Science Improvement Act (FSIA) by Congress before the end of 2011 could minimize the closures in our oceans. But, sad to say, don’t count on Congress during these times of political chaos in Washington, D.C.
“While other legislative amendments to MSA (Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act) have been offered to address a variety of federal fishing issues, we need Congress to understand that there is an immediate need to address the specific problem that FSIA solves,” said Mike Nussman, president and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association.
“Unless Congress passes this legislation before the end of this year, come January 1, 2012, anglers and commercial fishermen alike will be facing hard new annual catch limits on numerous stocks of fish that are based on nothing more than guesswork.”
Meanwhile backlash continues against Recreational Fishing Alliance (see previous posts) for criticizing the proposed legislation.
John Mazurkiewicz, public relations counsel for Shimano and a member of ASA and many other angling groups says:
“It's not hard to see that following the lead of the Congressional Sportsman's Foundation, ASA, The Billfish Foundation, IGFA, NMMA, Coastal Conservation Association and the Center of Coastal Conservation is the right way to go.
“I applaud the efforts of those involved with these organizations --- a large number of smart people who understand all these issues and know what's best for the sportfishing industry.”
And Phil Morlock, director of environmental affairs for Shimano, issues this warning:
“The campaign against fishing is spreading inland to fresh water and being advanced by the same bogus rationale that the only way to ‘protect’ fish and fish habitat is to ban recreational fishing regardless of what hard science and decades of fishery management success clearly shows to the contrary.
“The recreational fishing community has been slow to recognize that we are in a North America-wide battle for the very future of our sport that will determine whether our kids and grandchildren can continue to go fishing.
“Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, American Sportfishing Association, International Game Fish Association, Coastal Conservation Association, Center for Coastal Conservation, National Marine Manufacturers Association, and The Billfish Foundation deserve the support and sincere thanks of everyone who cares about the future of fishing. They are all dedicated, competent and the best professional representation we have in the halls of power where many of these issues will be decided.
“As for the very few who take gratuitous cheap shots at the efforts of these fine organizations, they rightfully deserve our contempt.”