While spring means warmer waters, active fish, and anglers making casts across America, take note that there are groups working to prevent you from ever making another cast—or from catching any fish, anywhere. Here are the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance’s Top Five Foes of Fishing:
- Center for Biological Diversity: This Tucson-based, lawsuit-centered group has twice petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ban the use of lead-based fishing tackle products. After a rejection in 2010, CBD filed a second petition in November 2011 requesting that the EPA again ban lead fishing tackle in all U.S. waters under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This was again rejected with more tax dollars wasted because of CBD’s efforts.
- Sierra Club: This environmental group joined with Earthjustice, The Wilderness Society, and others to reinstate the Roadless Rule in national forests. Parts of the plan would block access for anglers to rivers and lakes.
- PETA: This anti-fishing group often performs weird and wacky stunts to make fishing less attractive to kids. PETA also sought to rename a highway rest stop near Troutville, Virginia as “Fishing Hurts” as well as promoted a nationwide anti-fishing campaign entitled “Save our Schools.” More examples of how PETA thinks fish are like people can be found at www.nofishing.org.
- Ocean Conservancy: Is an environmental group working to create Marine Protection Areas (MPA’s)—which are off-limit ocean parks—that will prevent anglers from having access to fish and waterfronts, including public lands and beaches. The OC is pushing to expand this restrictive “off-limits” system along California’s entire coastline—and beyond.
- Environmental Defense Fund: Another environmental group that’s also working to increase areas off-limits to fishing. The group’s website boasts that: “underwater wilderness areas, called marine protection areas (MPAs), are an important tool to rebuild fish populations and revitalize ocean ecosystems. Such areas are off-limits to offshore oil drilling and mining, and all types of fishing may be restricted or banned.” Yes, they are working to stop fishing, including your fishing access.
Keep the “Top Five Foes of Fishing” on your mind and tell other anglers in your boat, and in your local tackle shop, about these groups that work against anglers everywhere.