Proposed Ban on Lead Sinkers in Connecticut
Time is running out to let your voice be heard on a proposed ban of lead fishing sinkers in Connecticut.
Senate Bill 59 would prohibit the sale and use of the most common lead sinkers in Connecticut waters. If approved, penalties could include a fine of $500 per incident.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced it would not pursue a federal ban on lead fishing tackle because it would be unwarranted. A ban would negatively affect Connecticut?s recreational anglers and fisheries-based resources that contribute more than $268 million in retail sales and a $445 million impact on the nation?s economy.
But a ban would have negligible impact on waterfowl or loon populations. There is no scientific data to support such a ban. The impact on loons and other waterfowl is the most often cited reason for bans on lead fishing tackle, yet Connecticut does not support a breeding loon population and wintering grebe populations are isolated to a few select waterways. Waterfowl populations in Connecticut are subject to much more substantial threats such as habitat loss, water acidification and mercury poisoning. Any lead restrictions need to be based on scientific data that supports the appropriate action for a particular water body or species. The bottom line is that this proposed ban on lead sinkers and jigs is not supported by science or an identified need.
?The EPA determined after extensive review that the threats of lead toxicity from fishing tackle did not warrant the actions being proposed by Connecticut,? said Danny Blandford, PAA Program Director. ?It is unfortunate this issue is attempting to take hold at the state level, and we encourage our members to express their concern. This decision isn?t supported by scientific evidence at the ecosystem level and will have serious consequences on our entire industry.?
A public hearing about S.B. 59 will be held Tuesday, Jan. 31, in Room 1E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Conn., at 12 p.m.
Email your thoughts to Environmental Committee members of the Connecticut General Assembly or visit KeepAmericaFishing.org and log in your zip code to send a message to your own state legislator about fisheries-related issues in your state.