The American Sportfishing Association, a supremely helpful lobbying group that fights to preserve our right to fish recreationally wherever and whenever possible, is sounding the alarm that anti-recreational fishing segments in the U.S. seek to ban fun angling in pending Pacific Ocean Marine Protective Areas (MPAs) even though President George W. Bush signed an executive order that guarantees recreational fishing in such places.
Fun fishing presents no threat to fish stocks in any proposed MPA and there is no evidence that recreational fishing is harming the ecosystem, but like the animal rights movement, such as the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), that work feverishly to halt all hunting in the U.S., now there are environmental wackos hammering the White House and federal agencies to adopt their anti-recreational fishing philosophy regarding Pacific Ocean conservation.
In a manner of speaking, MPAs are akin to land-based national parks. Until now, these waters simply were large ocean areas open to commercial exploitation. Although recreational fishing also occurred in such marine sectors, it’s the fish netters and shellfish harvesters that the MPAs were supposed to keep away — not sport anglers.
But for some reason there have been intense lobbying efforts by sport fishing opponents to ban recreational fishing. The White House and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is being constantly asked to stop even catch-and-release sport boaters in huge central Pacific Ocean sectors that might become marine protection areas.
Imagine, the President of the United States issuing an executive order, which heretofore has always been obeyed, yet radical ecologists in the land would gladly spit in the eye of the Oval Office, so to speak.
Sport fishing groups all across America want individual anglers to become involved and get in touch with the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the NOAA to support recreational fishing.
Go to www.keepamericafishing.org under the Pacific Ocean tab and learn more about what you can do to help.
Even if you’ve never even thought of fishing in the Pacific Ocean, already there is talk to also create MPAs along the Atlantic Coast. The MPA idea is spreading and it’s not pretty.