“Environmental organizations, who have infiltrated our federal government -- they are hell-bent on reducing the fleet of fishermen.” --- Capt. Bob Zales
Back in 2009, I started warning the nation’s anglers about the dangers posed to the future of fishing by the Obama Administration. Many of those threats center around the National Ocean Council and Catch Shares. But anti-fishing sentiment pervades this administration in general, as Zales, a Florida charter captain, points out in the aftermath of the feds reducing the red snapper season from 40 days to 9.
Zales made the comments in a Fox News article about the closure.
"I already had the boats sold out for the season and then I had to cancel those trips because I couldn't provide the service," added Capt. Mark Hubbard.
From Fox: “Hubbard and other fishermen point out that the number of red snapper this year is the highest in decades, and say the regulation is purely bureaucratic and not really about protecting fish. The recreational fishing industry employs an estimated 150,000 people along the Gulf and pumps some $7 billion into the local economies, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. In 2012, more than 3.1 million recreational anglers took 23 million fishing trips in the Gulf of Mexico region.”
Here’s what I wrote in February 2010 for ESPN Outdoors:
Environmental groups enthusiastically support federal management of our fisheries, starting with the oceans, coastal waters, and Great Lakes. They now are pressuring President Barack Obama to by-pass Congressional oversight and public discussion and instead issue an Executive Order, endorsing the recommendations of his Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force and creation of a massive federal bureaucracy.
This should come as no surprise, since members in many of these organizations favor creation of “marine protected areas,” where all uses --- including recreational angling --- are banned. Almost certainly they envision these being an integral part of the “spatial planning” strategy created by the task force and to be enforced by a National Ocean Council.
What might come as a surprise, though, is that these same groups produced a “wish list” document, Transition to Green, shortly after Obama’s election. And what has happened since, starting with the President’s creation of the task force, suggests that this special interest group --- with little to no public input --- is controlling public policy on a staggering scale.
Who wrote that document and who is determining the future of fishing in federal waters these days? Here’s the list:
AMERICAN RIVERS - CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL LAW
CLEAN WATER ACTION- DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE - EARTHJUSTICE -
ENVIRONMENT AMERICA - ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND - FRIENDS OF THE EARTH
GREENPEACE - IZAAK WALTON LEAGUE - LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS
NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY - NATIONAL PARKS CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION
NATIONAL TRIBAL ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL - NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION
NATIVE AMERICAN RIGHTS FUND - NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL - OCEANA
OCEAN CONSERVANCY - PEW ENVIRONMENT GROUP
PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY - POPULATION CONNECTION
POPULATION ACTION INTERNATIONAL
RAILS-TO-TRAILS CONSERVANCY - SIERRA CLUB - THE WILDERNESS SOCIETY
THE TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND - UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS
WORLD WILDLIFE FUND