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Entries in Congresstional Sporsmen's Caucus (2)

Thursday
Jun162011

Support Fishery Science Improvement Act to Help Keep Fisheries Open

Get active and tell your representatives and senators in Congress to support the Fishery Science Improvement Act.

Its passage should help clean up the mess that NOAA has our saltwater fisheries in today because of its tunnel-vision enforcement of the reauthorized Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

That reauthorization was well intended, with a goal of ending overfishing by 2011. But achieving that goal was predicated on the assumption that NOAA would make decisions based on up-to-date and accurate stock assessments and that it would improve catch data to better anticipate potential problems in a given fishery.

Instead, NOAA has shut down fisheries with what appears to be little justification, simply to meet the 2011 goal.

The Fishery Science Improvement Act, to be introduced next week by Rep.  Rob Wittman, provides NOAA with the time and direction to properly implement the 2006 Reauthorization of the Magnuson Stevens Act.  

“Without Congressional action, arbitrary decisions affecting millions of anglers and thousands of businesses will continue to be made, and I can’t let that happen to my constituents on the coast of Virginia nor should anyone in this Congress who cares about our nation’s marine resources or the millions of American’s who use those resources and depend on them for jobs and recreation,” said Wittman.

“The requirements outlined in the 2006 reauthorization are on the horizon and yet the science has not been established to accurately assess fish populations,” said Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida.

“Science is the only way we can solve this, and Rep. Wittman’s bill will provide the agency with the time and direction to properly address adequate scientific data. I am glad to join on as an original co-sponsor, and I will encourage fellow members of the (Congressional Sportmen’s) Caucus to sign as co-sponsors.”

Check out the full story at the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation website.

Tuesday
Apr192011

CSC Members Move to Protect Lead Fishing Tackle

Members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) have introduced legislation to keep the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from banning lead fishing tackle and ammunition.

“It’s always important to find a common-sense balance between protecting the rights of hunters, anglers and outdoorsmen and protecting our environment and wildlife habitats for future generations,” said Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas. 

“There is no credible scientific evidence that demonstrates traditional ammunition and fishing tackle pose any threat to human health or wildlife population and this legislation is needed to permanently address this issue once and for all.  I’m pleased to join this bipartisan effort and to work to stop the TSCA (Toxic Substances Control Act) petition, which is the most recent in a long string of attacks on our cherished hunting and fishing heritage.”

Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportmen’s Foundation, added, “This issue is about protecting America’s sportsmen as a federal ban on lead ammunition and fishing gear would negatively impact industry and wildlife conservation funding by driving up costs and serving as a disincentive for Americans to get outdoors.”

I’m with the CSC on this, but I also encourage anglers to stop using lead, especially lead weights, voluntarily. Tungsten costs a bit more than lead, but it is far superior as a worm weight --- smaller, harder, and more sensitive.

Some water birds, including loons, have died from ingesting lead shot and weights, although no evidence exists that their use harms populations overall. Nevertheless, lead is a toxic metal and the less of it we deposit in our fisheries, the better.