Deep Water

New National Oceans and Great Lakes Policy proposal ignores $125 billion recreational fishing's economic impact

Without recreational angler input, decisions made under a new national oceans and Great Lakes policy could be used to unnecessarily close saltwater and freshwater recreational fishing areas.

There could be an effect on scenes like this if action isn't taken on the new proposal from Washington on the National Oceans & Great Lakes Conservation Policy.

This past June, President Obama created the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force. The Task Force, led by the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), was charged with developing a national policy and implementation strategy for conserving and managing the United States ocean territory and the Great Lakes. The policy will govern ocean and Great Lakes resource management and coordinate efforts among countless federal, state and local agencies.

The Task Force's Interim Report is currently under a public review and comment period. The single most obvious flaw in the report is the omission of responsibly regulated recreational fishing as a key activity for the oceans and the Great Lakes. In addition, as a national policy document governing the oceans and Great Lakes, the report is skewed toward a preservationist policy of locking up public waters instead of one that promotes sustainable uses such as recreational fishing.

Send a letter to the White House Council on Environmental Quality and your Members of Congress asking that the Task Force specifically include recreational fishing and boating in the national policy. Make sure your voice is heard so that anglers' conservation, economic and social contributions are recognized as a key component of the policy.

For more information, contact Gordon Robertson, vice president and Government Affairs lead, or Patty Doerr.

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