Good news for anglers everywhere: Our brothers and sisters in Australia won a huge victory for public access.
And there’s an important message here for U.S. fishermen: Get involved in the political process. Aussie anglers wouldn’t have won if they had just gone fishing instead of fighting back.
“We are pleased the Coalition Government has listened to Australia’s recreational fishers and are conducting a scientific review of the proposal, which will give a sensible balance for Australia’s unique marine environment,” said Allan Hansard of the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation.
“It was clear that the decisions to ‘lock’ recreational fishers out of vast areas of our seas by the previous government was not scientifically based and was done to meet a political agenda.”
The Government’s marine parks announcement marks an historic win by the recreational fishing sector against powerful international environment groups, including the US-based Pew organisation which spent millions of dollars in its failed attempt to ban fishing across huge swathes of Australian territorial waters.
Meanwhile, here’s things are not going so well in the United States. President Obama’s National Ocean Council is moving ahead with plants to “zone” uses of our oceans, telling us where we can and cannot fish. And in Maine, officials are considering a proposal by anti-fishing advocates who want to ban plastic baits.
Down in Georgia, a fishing editor said this:
Fishing is a way of life for millions of Americans. It’s a pastime all can enjoy, as well as a multi-billion-dollar industry through the sale of boats and motors, fishing tackle and even live bait.
The state of Maine, though, seems hell-bent on becoming the nation’s first anti-fishing state, according to a news release from Keep America Fishing.
Not long ago, the state legislature voted to impose restrictions and downright bans on the use of lead-headed jigs and lead sinkers, claiming the loon population was being adversely affected by ingesting that tackle while diving for bait fish.
Earlier this year, Maine’s Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife called for a study to determine the effects of soft plastic lures on fish. Maine’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department is using online research, ice angling reports and litter assessments to determine if there are adverse effects on fish . . .
Legislation introduced during early 2013 legislative sessions called for the outright ban of soft plastic lures.
The state study also includes the impact of hooks! What a waste of time! If soft baits are banned, what’s next?
I’m glad I live where I live!