- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Keep an eye on the entertainment world’s do-gooders as far as the environment is concerned.

People like Ted Danson, Barbra Streisand, media mogul Ted Turner and others are making tough statements about the sad shape of our oceans. They’ve formed a coalition of various entertainer-run foundations to fight polluters and abusers (a noble task), but in the long run they also want to restrict all kinds of fishing.

The coalition’s name is Oceana. It consists of the Streisand Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trust and various Turner foundations. Oceana wants increased federal regulation and hopes to expand marine protected areas (MPA) where fishing will be permanently banned. These MPAs are an ocean version of land-based National Park Service facilities. You can look, but do not touch. No fishing, no nothing.

I don’t mind so much when over-exploited fish species are protected from commercial abuses or when polluters are slam-dunked, but sport anglers by and large have little effect on the survival of fish species. In fact, they’ll work to help, not damage them.

Streisand, by the way, is the same person who believes that because Republicans control Congress, the result has been poison in the water, salmonella in food, carbon dioxide in the air, and toxic waste in the ground.

One thing is certain: If these people have their way, upcoming regulations will have serious consequences as concerns recreational and commercial fisheries, even boating.

Want to paint a black bear? — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is looking for artists willing to compete in the annual Black Bear Conservation Stamp Contest. Only original artwork for the design contest will be judged on June16, 1:30 p.m., at the DNR Information Resource Center in the Tawes State Office Building in Annapolis.

Anybody can enter, resident or non-resident. Entries will be accepted through June11. The submissions must be original, previously unreleased artwork by the contestant. Each contestant can submit one entry for a non-refundable $10 entry fee. All types of submissions are accepted, including photographs, in either black and white or color as long as the subject is the black bear. Designs must have a horizontal orientation and be 7 inches in height by 10 inches in width. Further guidelines can be found on the Black Bear Stamp Web site at www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/bbstampcontest.html or call Doug Wigfield at 410/543-6595.

Artwork should be mailed or hand-delivered to the DNR, Wildlife and Heritage Service, 201 Baptist St., Suite 22, Salisbury, Md. 21801, attention Doug Wigfield.

Proceeds from the sale of the $5 stamp are used to compensate farmers in western Maryland who have experienced property damage caused by black bears.

Canadian government aims at anglers — Garry Breitkreuz, a conservative member of Canada’s parliament, accuses his government of launching a sneak attack on 8million sport anglers. Breitkreuz says the current government soon will propose regulations that will bring about an eventual prohibition on the import, manufacture and sale of fishing sinkers and jigs containing lead.

“Decades of Liberal [Party] red tape has been killing hunting and shooting sports in Canada,” Breitkreuz said. “Now they have picked the fishing industry as their next target.

“A few weeks ago, the environment minister tried to quietly announce his proposal to ban all lead sinkers and brass fishing lures. He plans to put his plan into place in October, after the election. There are about 8million men and women in Canada who enjoy fishing. This Liberal government is going after them, just like it went after firearms owners. Liberals have driven hundreds of thousands of responsible firearms owners out of their sport; have cost the Canadian economy more than 10,000 businesses and the thousands of jobs that go with them. Now they have a plan to do the same thing to the fishing industry by banning fishing tackle. All this is being done without sufficient scientific evidence that there is even a problem.”

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