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Wednesday
Feb092011

Activism Helps Save Alaska Salmon

Activism is working in Alaska, and, with persistence, could be the reason that we are able to save North America’s last great salmon fishery --- the only one that we have not yet degraded or destroyed.

 Two victories have come in recent days for Bristol Bay and the anglers, commercial fishermen, environmentalists, and tribes who want to save it from potentially catastrophic mining operations.

 First, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it will assess the watershed to better understand how such projects may affect water quality and the fishery.  According to Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska, “EPA initiated this assessment in response to concerns from federally recognized tribes and others who petitioned the agency in 2010 to assess any potential risks to the watershed.”

 Continued

Tuesday
Feb082011

Jellyfish Invasion in Florida Reflects Problems In Oceans

Hundreds of people along the south Altlantic coast of Florida have been stung by Portuguese Man-of-War jellyfish in recent days, according to the Telegraph. Yet another example that our oceans are in trouble.

Lt. Jim McCrady, a 24-year veteran officer from Fort Lauderdale's Ocean Rescue department, told the British newspaper: "I've never seen this many, ever."

But jellyfish invasions have been on the increase worldwide for several years. In 2008, the Newhouse News Service reported: "As a tickle in the throat can signal impending flu, some scientists warn, so might the apparent planet-wide increase in jellyfish spell looming sickness for the world's oceans."

It cites a May report by the National Science Foundation (NSF): "Scientists generally agree that human-caused stresses, including global warming and overfishing, are encouraging jellyfish surpluses in many tourist destinations and productive fisheries."

You'll note the word "overfishing." More accurately, NSF should have said "commercial overfishing." For example, in the United States, recreational fishing accounts for just 3 percent of saltwater harvest, while contributing $82 billion annually to the economy and supporting more than 500,000 jobs.

I can't speak for NSF's motivation, but repeatedly referencing "overfishing," as if recreational and commercial were one and the same, is a common tactic used by anti-fishing groups to push for unjustified bans on sport fishing.

Tuesday
Feb082011

Survey Shows: Increasing Loss of Access in Saltwater

Want proof that we’re losing our fishing waters? AnglerSurvey.com has the evidence.

Both in 2009 and again in 2010, nearly 20 percent of responding fishermen said they had to cancel a trip or stop fishing a particular area because they could no longer access it.

More disturbingly, access concerns for saltwater anglers jumped from 19.7 to 24.8 percent of the total, an increase of more than 5 percent. Sportfishing closures along the California coast, courtesy of the Marine Life Protection Act contributed to the increase, as did bottom fishing closures in the Southeast and the Gulf oil spill.

“These closures impact not only anglers, but businesses and families along the coast that depend on sportfishing. When people want to fish, but have to cancel because they are unable to access decent fishing spots, we see a greater deterioration of jobs, tax revenues and commerce in general. Anglers need to stay in touch with fisheries agencies and sportfishing groups to minimize any future problems,” said Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, which designs and conducts the surveys at HunterSurvey.com, ShooterSurvey.com and AnglerSurvey.com.

Tuesday
Feb082011

Oregon Anglers Have an Ally in State Senate

In general, those who oppose recreational fishing tend to be more politically involved than anglers. That means a minority of them too often carry more clout than a majority of us.

But in Oregon, at least, fishermen have a real friend in the state senate: Alan Olsen, a former president of the state's B.A.S.S. Federation Nation and an avid angler.

His recent election couldn't have come at a better time either, as the legislature considers House Bill 2632, which would ban the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife from managing non-native fish species. It would  prevent setting limits, habitat enhancement, stocking or movement of fish, and any expenditures on their behalf. 

Continued

Monday
Feb072011

A Bleak Future for Fishing

Bill Walsh has written an excellent piece about what fishing could look like in just four years if the current bureaucrats in power have their way.

"It keeps getting worse and closer to invading our angling realities. I’m talking about the mammoth, all encompassing forces of the federal government in cahoots with the forces assembled under the banner of 'environmentalists' et al, who are continuing to lie in wait with well developed plans ready to strike and fundamentally change our fishing freedoms and liberties," he says in the Naple News.

"In a nutshell, their effort is to limit the number of people who fish; limit the amount of time those “making the cut” can fish; what they can fish for and what they can harvest."