Monday, September 29, 2008

Turning the Tide on Recreational Fishing on Federal Lands

On September 26, President George W. Bush signed an amendment to the 1995 Executive Order on recreational fishing to ensure that federal agencies maintain responsible recreational fishing on federal lands and waters, including marine protected areas.

"Our nation's sportsmen and women are among our foremost conservationists. I was pleased to amend Executive Order 12962 to recognize the value of recreational fishing as a sustainable activity in federal waters," said President Bush.

Over the past two years, the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the Center for Coastal Conservation and its members, the Coastal Conservation Association, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the Shimano American Corporation united efforts to secure the recreational fishing and boating access amendment.

“We applaud the President for taking this unprecedented step which recognizes that anglers and boaters play a significant and critical role in this country’s successful conservation model which is the envy of the world,” said ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman. “As a recreational angler and boater himself, the President clearly understands that sportsmen and women are conservationists first and foremost and that recreational fishing is an essential component of the nation’s heritage.”

"This is a major victory for sportsmen and we commend the President," said Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF). "CSF has been particularly concerned about the spawn of no fishing provisions in marine protected areas that lock recreational anglers out of prime fishing areas."

"We appreciate the leadership President Bush has shown by his recognition of recreational fishing as an environmentally sustainable activity on federal waters, including marine protected areas. This is a progressive declaration which will benefit millions of anglers today and in the future," stated Phil Morlock, director of environmental affairs for Shimano American Corporation.

“The President’s action established a legacy for recreational fishing by securing access to fishing and boating, the lifeblood of the American model of fisheries management and conservation,” said ASA Vice President Gordon Robertson. “Every time American anglers buy fishing licenses or sportfishing equipment, an investment is made in fishing’s future. This highly successful user-pay system for fishery management depends on access to the resource.”

Source: American Sportfishing Association, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation