Since 2009, I have been warning about the threat to recreational fishing posed by this Administration’s National Ocean Policy (NOP). I began on the now defunct ESPN Outdoors website and have continued to sound the alarm as the Activist Angler.
In fact, this attempted Big Government takeover of our waterways --- not just the oceans, but inland as well --- is what prompted this website, after ESPN bowed to political pressures and declined to support me and what I had written.
This leads me to a recent opinion piece written by Rep. Richard Norman “Doc” Hastings, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.
He begins this way:
“In the famous poem ‘Paul Revere’s Ride,’ Revere instructs his fellow patriots to use lanterns to signal whether there’s an attack coming by land or sea. While we may no longer have to fear the British, Americans should be warned of a new threat coming by sea in the form of President Obama’s National Ocean Policy and ocean zoning initiative.
“President Obama is using the ocean as his latest regulatory weapon to impose new bureaucratic restrictions on nearly every sector of our economy. While marketed as a common sense plan for the development and protection of our oceans, it is instead being used to create a massive new bureaucracy that would harm our economy.”
And here’s an excerpt:
“Imposing mandatory ocean zoning could place huge portions of our oceans and coasts off-limits, seriously curtailing recreational activities, commercial fishing, and all types of energy development – including renewable energy such as offshore wind farms.
“What’s even more alarming is that the impact of this Executive Order is not limited to just our oceans. It establishes regional planning bodies with the authority to regulate as far inland as necessary. All rivers eventually drain into the ocean, which gives this policy the justification it needs to reach far inland.
“For example, the Gulf of Mexico Regional Planning Body will make decisions to regulate activities throughout the entire Mississippi River watershed if those activities have the potential to affect the Gulf of Mexico. This means a policy billed as protecting our oceans will have the ability to regulate inland activities that occur as far north as Minnesota. If farmers and ranchers thought having the EPA in their backyard was bad, wait until the National Ocean Council comes sailing upstream for a visit too.”
Thanks to Rep. Hastings for recognizing this threat and sounding the alarm. Many still do not know about the NOP or, if they do, refuse to acknowledge that it poses a danger to the future of fishing.
I assure you that the threat is real. Please, tell your representatives and senators to oppose the National Ocean Policy, and, if you or they want more information, do a search on this site. There’s plenty here.