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October 15, 2008

ASA: Recreational fishing in the Pacific Ocean is in peril

Anti-recreational fishing groups seek to ban recreational fishing in pending Pacific Ocean marine protected area designations




The Situation

In spite of President George W. Bush's recent memo and an Executive Order which clarified that recreational fishing should be sustained in marine protected area designations, recreational fishing opponents are intensively lobbying the White House and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to ban recreational fishing in vast areas of the Central Pacific Ocean.

This sets a dangerous precedent regarding recreational fishing in any federal waters, saltwater or fresh, which the Executive Order and Executive Memo was designed to protect.  
 
Please act now! Your help is needed to support recreational fishing in the Pacific today and on your coastline in the future.  

To maintain recreational fishing in the Pacific Ocean and all federal waters, we are asking you to tell the White House and NOAA to stay the course and uphold the President's decision regarding recreational fishing.
 
SEND YOUR MESSAGE NOW!
The White House is taking public comment until October 26, 2008. As a recreational angler, please do your part to bring balance to this process.
 
Click here: http://capwiz.com/keepamericafishing/issues/alert/?alertid=12073746&PROCESS=Take+Action to send a message to the White House Council on Environmental Quality and NOAA in support of recreational fishing. In a matter of seconds they will receive your message.
 
Thank you very much for doing your part to Keep America Fishing.
 
Background
Contrary to an August 25, 2008, Presidential Memo and a September 26, 2008, Presidential Executive Order directing federal agencies to sustain recreational fishing in federal marine protected areas and all federal waters, anti-recreational fishing groups are seeking to have recreational fishing banned in vast areas of the Central Pacific Ocean. This is a dangerous precedent to set in any U.S waters, marine or fresh.  
 
Even though regulated recreational fishing presents no threat to fish stocks in these areas and there is no evidence that recreational fishing is harming the ecosystem, many environmental groups are lobbying the White House and federal agencies to adopt their anti-recreational fishing philosophy regarding Pacific Ocean conservation.
 
These groups have mounted a letter writing campaign to convince senior officials in the White House and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that recreational fishing should be banned in thousands of square miles in the Central Pacific. They say: "Unfortunately, the final designation of these areas may allow some fishing?" and that "Declaring these monuments as fully-protected no-take reserves? is crucial for meaningful stewardship of our imperiled oceans."  
 
On September 26, 2008, President Bush signed an amendment to the 1995 Executive Order on recreational fishing. This amendment directs that federal agencies must maintain recreational fishing on federal lands and waters, including marine protected areas. The Executive Order revises Executive Order 12962 signed in 1995 by President Bill Clinton.
 
The August 25, 2008, Executive Memo signed by the President set the stage for the new Executive Order. The memo directed the Secretaries of Defense, Interior and Commerce and the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality to sustain access to recreational fishing as part of their study of potential marine protected areas (MPA) in the Central Pacific Ocean.