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Entries in anti-fishing (171)


Anti-Fishing Movement on the Rise

Recreational fishing as we know it no longer exists in portions of Western Europe.

Even more disturbing, the seeds of its destruction are well established here, especially in the anti-hunting movement,  as you can see by the "photo" above.  Of course, anyone who hunts and fishes knows that the photo was staged and that the comments are a lie. No state allows hunting during the spring, when fawns are that size. And if a poacher illegally shot the doe, he wouldn't leave it there for an animal rights activist to photograph it. Likely, the doe was killed on the highway. But truth means nothing to these zealots. For them, the end--- banning fishing and hunting--- justifies the use of any means, including dishonesty.

And don’t be misled by the fact that 9 out of 10 Americans still approve of legal fishing and support using fish for food.

When people are asked whether they approve of recreational fishing for sport, answers change dramatically. Twenty-five to 30 percent view angling for sport as cruel in more urbanized states such as Colorado and Arizona,  while about 20 percent feel the same way in more rural states, including Alaska and the Dakotas.

Those disturbing revelations come from researchers in Germany, Switzerland, and the United States, who recently compiled their findings in a report entitled, “A Primer on Anti-Angling Philosophy and Its Relevance for Recreational Fisheries in Urbanized Societies.”

Such attitudes, the authors say, raise the possibility “that extremist positions (or elements thereof) influenced by animal liberation or animal rights arguments might find their way into nongovernmental organizations, science, politics, and ultimately legislation.

“Such a development is particularly challenging for recreational fishers when it occurs where they have little political support. Without sufficient support, radical claims portraying anglers as cruel sadists who play with fish for no good reason can be rhetorically effective.”

Why is this happening?

Basically, the answer is that attitudes change regarding fish and wildlife as people move away from nature and into more urban settings. Their beliefs become guided more by what they see on television and in the movies than what they personally experience.

Anglers and hunters view fish and wildlife as resources to be used, while being managed wisely and treated with respect. Traditionally, most Americans have agreed with that “utilitarian” philosophy.

But as people become more urbanized (and often more affluent), some begin to favor a “mutualism wildlife value orientation, viewing wildlife as capable of relationships of trust with humans, as if part of an extended family, and as deserving of rights and caring.”

Mutualists, the authors say, “are more likely to view fish and wildlife in human terms, with human personalities and characteristics.”


How ignorant are many of those who oppose hunting and fishing? Awhile back, some of these mental giants viciously attacked Steven Spielberg after Jay Branscomb posted a photo with this caption on his Facebook page:

“Disgraceful photo of recreational hunter happily posing next to a Triceratops he just slaughtered. Please share so the world can name and shame this despicable man.”

By the way, triceratops, along with all other dinosaurs, have been extinct for about 65 million years. And Branscomb was having a little fun in the wake of the outrage expressed by these same people after Kendall Jones posted photos of African big game that she had shot.

But the obvious obviously wasn’t so obvious for the true believers. Here are some of the comments:

 “Steven Spielberg has absolutely no respect for animals. Posing infront [sic] of this poor dead animal like that. Barbaric.”

 “if these animals are so rare they should be moved to a reservation where it’s illegal to kill them.”

 “He’s a disgusting inhumane [bleep] Id love to see these hunters be stopped…I think zoos are the best way to keep animals safe…[bleep]holes like this piece of [bleep] are going into these beautiful animals HOME and killing them… its no different than someone coming into your home and murdering you…” 


What’s coming down the road in the United States if mutualism prevails?

The Swiss Animal Welfare Act of 2008 highlights the nightmarish possibilities. The legislation makes catch-and-release illegal because “it is in conflict with the dignity of the fish and its presumed ability to suffer and feel pain.”

A similar rule has been in place since the 1980s in Germany, where anglers also must take a course in fish handing before they can obtain a license.

“The argument runs that it is legally acceptable to go fishing only if one has the intention to catch fish for food,” the study says.

“Wider economic benefits created by angling are usually not considered a sufficient justification --- it all boils down to the individual benefits experienced by the angler, and here food provision is currently the only acceptable reason.” 

In other words, recreational fishing as millions of Americans now enjoy it is not allowed.

What would imposition of such a system in the United States mean?

 It would mean that a majority of the nation’s more than licensed 30 million anglers would stop fishing.

It would mean an end to family outings and buddy tournaments, and depressurizing for a few hours after work at a local lake or pond.

It would mean the collapse of economies for coastal communities and cities along the Great Lakes, as well as hundreds of towns near popular inland lakes and reservoirs.

In the United States, more people fish than play golf and tennis combined, and, in doing so, they support more than one million jobs.

Through license fees and excise taxes, recreational anglers contribute $1.2 billion annually “to preserve, protect, and enhance not just their sport, but also the environment that makes such sportfishing possible,” the American Sportfishing Association says. “Across much of the country, angler dollars are the primary source for improving fish habitat, public access, and environmental education.”

All that could be gone if we allow a minority who believe fishing is cruel to dominate the conversation and dictate policy.

“Powerful intervention is needed to counterbalance such tendencies in a society where hunting and fishing are becoming less prominent and where an increasing percentage of the public has lost contact with wildlife and nature,” say the authors of the study.

What do we do about this? We go fishing, of course, and, at every opportunity, we introduce someone new to the sport. We practice good stewardship through individual actions, as well as club activities --- and we publicize accomplishments. Also, we make certain that decision makers at every level of government know about both the calculable and incalculable value of recreational fishing to individuals, families, and society.


Hunters Help Manage Wildlife, Pay the Way for All to Enjoy Outdoors

In Florida, bears are invading homes, damaging property, killing pets, and injuring people. Sadly, sooner rather than later, a Florida bear is going to kill someone.

But Florida doesn't have a bear problem. It has a people problem, people who are clueless about how nature works and guided solely by emotion. Mostly they are urban and often they are college educated. But they have spent little time in the outdoors and know little to nothing about how about science-based management benefits both people and wildlife.

And in their ignorance, they protested loudly when the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recently staged its first bear hunt.

In an attempt to educate the uneducated, FWC produced the following piece on the connection between conservation and wildlife. My only quibble with it is that it refers to hunter conservationists as a paradox. I don't agree. It's a natural connection.Otherwise, it's an excellent article:

This past week was Theodore Roosevelt’s 157th birthday, and never has a former president looked so good. The occasion serves as a great reminder of what he stood for and what we still can do to honor his conservation legacy today. A naturalist with a deep love for America’s natural beauty and resources, TR embraced conservation ideals throughout his administration. He protected 230 million acres of land and created 150 national forests, the first 51 federal bird reservations, five national parks and the first four national game preserves. The very first National Wildlife Refuge he established, Pelican Island, is in Vero Beach. 

Theodore Roosevelt was also a hunter, and it is his legacy as a sportsman-naturalist that serves as the best example of one of the great (and often misunderstood) paradoxes of wildlife conservation: Those with a passion for the hunt also have a passion to protect. 

Though many Floridians may be unfamiliar with hunting, it is a critical component of wildlife conservation in the Sunshine State. In Florida, nearly a quarter of a million people hunt each year, and their numbers are growing. Even more consider themselves hunters but do not hunt every year. From 2006 to 2012, the number of hunters increased 2.5 percent in Florida, as more women, men, young people and those interested in eating locally-sourced organic meat swelled their ranks. 

And it is these hunter conservationists who are underwriting and supporting politically a large part of wildlife conservation in Florida and the nation. Enjoying wildlife and its habitat is free to all, but the programs providing habitat conservation are not. Florida hunters specifically pay for managing wildlife through the licenses and permits they buy. For instance, all adult waterfowl hunters purchase a federal duck stamp. It’s a program the hunters helped create in the 1930s. Considered one of the best conservation tools ever, 98 percent of the duck stamp’s purchase price goes to acquire and protect wetland habitat not just in Florida, but throughout North America for migratory birds and other wildlife.

Hikers, paddlers, campers and all who love wildlife benefit from the millions in conservation dollars generated by hunters. 

So too, hunters were some of America’s first conservation activists. Not only Theodore Roosevelt, but Aldo Leopold, Ding Darling and George Bird Grinnell — all hunters — went on respectively to form the Boone and Crockett Club, The Wilderness Society, the National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. Today, in the tradition of TR, many sportsmen and women contribute their time, money and effort to conservation organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, Quail Forever and others. These organizations are dedicated to on-the-ground projects and advocacy that benefits wildlife, including purchasing lands for a wide array of species beyond animals that are hunted.

As TR said, “in a civilized and cultivated country, wild animals only continue to exist at all when preserved by sportsmen.” 

Hunters are also our wildlife thermometers in the woods and fields. As essential partners in wildlife management, they spend a great deal of time outdoors, providing the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission important information on what is happening in the most remote parts of the state. Hunters report on the conditions of wildlife and habitat, game law violations and other threats to wildlife conservation, helping the agency protect and conserve the state’s natural resources. 

Finally, hunting is the first and original organic and natural grocery store, offering locally-grown and harvested protein from the land. Think of it as nature’s Whole Foods. Health-conscious families value living off the land and the meat from game birds and deer, which carries no preservatives, antibiotics or growth hormones. As society becomes more removed from the source of our food, hunting connects us directly to what we eat and to the life and death cycles of animals. 

In the spring of 1903, President Roosevelt made a cross country trip to Yosemite to sit around a campfire with John Muir, famous naturalist and founder of the Sierra Club. Many historians believe this meeting inspired the President’s aggressive approach to protecting American landscapes and wildlife treasures for future generations. John Muir was a critic of hunting. It is said that he and TR had spirited debates on the subject, but their common love for the natural world moved them beyond these differences to become the original architects of America’s conservation legacy. 

We are so fortunate that John Muir recognized and accepted the hunter conservationist paradox so profoundly personified by Theodore Roosevelt. Today’s conservation community, both hunters and environmentalists alike, can learn a lot from the great example set by these two great men. We all need to be more willing to share a campfire with those who think differently about wildlife conservation, focusing on our common ground so future generations can enjoy a rich wildlife legacy. 

 Brian Yablonski, chairman, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission


Animal Rights Activists Focus on Florida Bear Hunt--- For Now

Compassionate animal rights lovers tried their best to stop the recent bear hunt in Florida. They used protests, harassing emails, and media that often sympathized with them. They went to court.

Eventually, these same types of people are going to come after sport fishing. They operate solely on emotion and are totally ignorant about how science-based wildlife management works and how hunters and anglers  finance conservation nationwide. A  subset of the political correctness crowd, in which everyone receives a participation award, they are virulently anti-fishing and anti-hunting.

Right now, though, championing cute and cuddly bears is more appealing to them than protecting bass and bluegill. 

Fortunately, they failed in Florida, as a judge upheld the Fish and Wildlife Commission's science-based decision to join more than 30 other states  that allow bear hunts. In just two days, the hunters killed 295 bears, suggesting  that the population is more than the 3,500 originally estimated.

That exploding population was responsible for 13,679 nuisance reports in just Central Florida from January 2008 to May 2015. Those reports included bears in buildings, bears causing property damage, and bears threatening pets and humans. More recently, three women have been attacked in Central Florida and one in the Panhandle.

And in a state with so many people and so many bears, it's just a matter of time until there's a human fatality.

The protestors argue that all wildlife managers have to do is shoot the bears with darts containing birth control chemicals to control the population or trap them and move them to nearby national forests. A few even believe that people can co-exist peacefully with these large and dangerous animals if they will just "follow the rules." All three options are, to put it kindly, naive, and, to put it bluntly, idiotic.

Birth control is too expensive, time-consuming, and inefficient to work on a large population of wild animals spread across thousands of square miles. Bears moved from suburbs to a national forest will just return to the suburbs, where they are acclimated. And bears don't read the "rules."

I can't say it any better than rocker Ted Nugent, who bought one of the first permits to hunt bears in Florida.

“Wildlife can only be one of two things: It can only be an asset or a liability,” Nugent said, citing the spike in nuisance bears. “Currently, the central Florida bear population is a liability because it is not valued as the renewable resource that God designed it as.

“Let me give an Uncle Ted alert to everyone: (All animals) are beloved. We love them all. We want them healthy and balanced, and if you fail to harvest the surplus, they will not be healthy and balanced,” he said.

“The reason there hasn’t been a bear season until now — even after more than 6,000 nuisance complaints — the reason we’ve waited so long is because of the scourge of political correctness dispensed by the idiots who claim the defenseless animals need protecting.

“Helloooo! It’s a (expletive) bear!”

And it's a (expletive) fish!

But that isn't going to stop these oh, so compassionate animal lovers who operative solely on emotion. Make no mistake about it. If they could, they'd stop you from fishing just as quickly as they would stop the Florida bear hunt. As anglers, we just aren't on their radar yet.


Banning Fishing Won't Save Coral in Biscayne National Park

Too many in this country, especially anglers, fail to recognize that the anti-fishing movement is strong and going stronger, not only in private organizations such as PETA, but in federal government. Right now, anti-fishing elements in both groups are strategizing together about how to establish National Marine Monuments that would prohibit recreational fishing off the New England coast

The National Park Service (NPS)  already has closed portions of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, and now it's going after a recreational fishing ban on part of Florida's Biscayne National Park, under the pretense of protecting coral.

 But because its decisions affect just one part of the country at a time, outrage regarding its actions usually is limited to those personally affected by the loss of access and the fishing industry in general, which tries its best to awaken anglers to this threat.

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen exposed how anti-fishing proponents have corrupted NPS management in her recent critique of its proposal.

"Putting a no-fishing zone at the forefront of Biscayne’s coral-protection strategy would seem to suggest that NPS believes fishing is the primary threat to our reefs," she said.

"But scientists have determined that poor water quality and periodic extreme water temperatures are responsible for most coral losses in Biscayne over the last two decades. Furthermore, overfishing is just one of five major threats to Biscayne’s coral reefs that NPS has identified, including reduced freshwater flows into Biscayne Bay, invasive species, water quality/pollution and climate change.

"Knowing this, how can NPS propose that eliminating fishing in 7 percent of park waters will vastly improve the state of park reefs?"

She also correctly contrasts that political move to impose an preservationist ideology with how NPS managers at Everglades National Park properly developed a management.

" Everglades’ GMP (general management plan) has gone through the same tortured process that Biscayne’s has, yet when the final plan was recently released, it was rightly praised by fishermen and environmental groups alike because it was grounded in a consensus-based plan that balanced ecological protection and public access. The plan vastly expands pole/troll zones across Florida Bay to protect vital seagrass beds from boat motors while allowing folks to enjoy fishing and boating in their public waters via dozens of new, marked access routes."

That plan, she correctly pointed out, supports both fish habitat and fishing.

"In Biscayne, the plan lays out a false choice between fish habitat or fishing," she said. "It’s not too late for the Park Service to develop a GMP for Biscayne that can actually deliver the conservation benefits it’s designed to provide, and do so with the support of all stakeholders in our community — the type of GMP that neighboring Everglades National Park recently proposed."


Help Stop Attempts to Ban Recreational Fishing Off New England Coast

Anti-fishing groups are asking the Obama Administration to ban recreational fishing off portions of New England, significantly impacting the recreational marine community in the Northeast and setting a precedent for future closures across the country’s coastal areas.

Despite zero evidence to suggest recreational fishing poses a threat to the habitat or fish populations in these areas, these groups are lobbying the government to include a ban on recreational fishing if, and when, it designates a large section of the Northern Atlantic as a new Marine National Monument.

You better believe if these groups get their way, they won’t stop. And with more than a year left in the White House, the Administration could soon be adding similar bans across more and more offshore waters. 

We can’t let that happen. We can’t let anti-fishing groups dictate the government’s agenda. We need to respond.