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<P style="TEXT-ALIGN: center">American Sportfishing Association (ASA) = shimano, Daiwa funding and backing <P style="TEXT-ALIGN: center">Sportfishing Industry and Partners Call on Administration to Make Major Marine Fisheries Management Changes
Immediate administrative action needed to avoid significant problems with fisheries management<P style="TEXT-ALIGN: left" align=left>WASHINGTON, D.C. ? February 23, 2010 ? Today, a coalition of marine recreational fishing, boating, and conservation organizations and businesses called on the Obama administration to take immediate action to address a crisis within the federal fisheries management system. In a letter to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco, the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), The Billfish Foundation (TBF), the Center for Coastal Conservation (CCC), the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) laid out an initial framework to immediately address serious and escalating problems resulting from inadequate implementation of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the chronic problems that exist within the federal marine fisheries management system.<P style="TEXT-ALIGN: left" align=left>The coalition emphasizes that there are available administrative actions that can be taken right away to address the concerns of the sportfishing and boating industries and the nation?s 13 million saltwater anglers who depend on well-managed, healthy marine fisheries. Read the full letter sent to Dr. Lubchenco here.<P align=left>Given NOAA?s recent ban on recreational fishing for red snapper from North Carolina through Florida and the potential for additional bans on key recreational saltwater fisheries, much of the frustration that exists in the grassroots recreational fishing community over these management decisions has boiled over into organized protests including, one being held Wednesday, February 24, in Washington, D.C.<P align=left>With today?s letter, the coalition called upon the administration to:<DIV align=left><UL><LI>Take decisive, immediate action to improve recreational fisheries data by redirecting existing funds and personnel to focus on real-time management data. <LI>Collect socio-economic data on recreational fishing in the communities most likely to be impacted by near-term or expected fisheries closures. <LI>Provide federal level direction to the fishery management councils to use common-sense in their management approaches while the administration collects the requisite data to make sound management decisions. <LI>Develop a recreational fishing program and staff within NMFS commensurate with the national economic contribution of recreational saltwater fishing. </LI>[/list]

The coalition?s groups look forward to working closely with the Obama administration and NOAA to implement solutions to effectively deal with our nation?s marine fisheries resources.</DIV><P align=left>Below are comments made today by the coalition?s group leaders:<P align=left><A href="http://www.asafishing.org/">American Sportfishing Association
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Mike Nussman, President and CEO
"We support healthy fisheries and good fishery management. It's good for anglers, our business and our economy. We?ve developed common-sense administrative and appropriations proposals that address the need for timely, accurate data while preserving efforts to rebuild our marine fisheries. We see these as a starting point for actions that must be implemented to address the short and long term problems.?<P align=left>?Unfortunately, what we are seeing now is crisis management rather than fisheries management and this must stop before more jobs are lost and more of the nation?s recreational anglers are unnecessarily shut out.?<P align=left><A href="http://www.billfish.org/">The Billfish Foundation
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Ellen Peel, President
?Stock assessments for recreationally important species have been a lower priority for NMFS than is justified by the economic contribution of the recreational fishing community. Recreational fishing accounts for only three percent of the marine finfish harvested by weight, yet it produces 56 percent of the jobs from all saltwater fisheries.?<P align=left><A href="http://www.coastalconservation.us/">The Center for Coastal Conservation
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Jeff Angers, President
?The groups represented in this effort are demanding conservation-oriented measures that deliver the best possible opportunity not only for America?s anglers and the businesses that depend on them, but also for America?s marine resources to achieve their fullest potential. We expect to see the same commitment from NMFS.Their failure to do so has led to the current crisis of confidence and is threatening to bring the entire system to a standstill.?<P align=left><A href="http://www.joincca.org/">The Coastal Conservation Association
</A>
Pat Murray, President
"There is a great deal of frustration among recreational anglers, much of it attributable to an agency that doesn't have the data, the science orthe will to properly manage us. Recreational anglers have always been willing to do what is right to maintain healthy marine resources, but it is hard to have faith in many of the management measures we are seeing out of NMFS right now. There is a better path than the one they are on."<P align=left><A href="http://www.igfa.org/">International Game Fish Association
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Rob Kramer, President
?We must deal with the unintended consequences of the 2006 Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization. We hope that our recommendations will help to get this agency, on which 13 million recreational saltwater anglers depend, back on track.?<P align=left><A href="http://www.nmma.org/">National Marine Manufacturers Association
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Thomas J. Dammrich, President
?NOAA Fisheries? severe restrictions on recreational fishing are a direct result of the agency?s failure to collect important data on these fisheries, including the impacts of recreational fishing and boating. Unless NOAA takes quick and decisive action to improve its data and management of recreational fisheries, these large-scale closures will drive down boat sales and negatively impact U.S. marine industry jobs.?
 

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THANKS FOR THE POST MARK, THATS SOME VERY GOOD NEWS TO SEE SOME OF THE HEAVY HITTERS GET INVOLVED IN THIS ISSUE. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE TO SEE THIS A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO BEFORE IT CAME DOWN TO NEAR TOTAL SHUT DOWN OF REC FISHING. ITMUSTBE HITTING THEIR PROFFIT MARGIN PRETTY HARD TO FINALY GET THEM MOTIVATED. WHAT EVER IT TAKES.
 

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Thanks for posting Mark. I went into Shimano website the other day and they have the below posted on their website.

<SPAN class=headline>Feds to 60 Million American Anglers: We don't need you <DIV class=clear></DIV><DIV class=shimglobal_texttitleimage><DIV class=text>IRVINE, Calif. USA ? October 5, 2009 ? A recently published administration document outlines a structure that could result in closures of sport fishing in salt and freshwater areas across America. The White House created an Interagency Oceans Policy Task Force in June and gave them only 90 days to develop a comprehensive federal policy for all U.S. coastal, ocean and Great Lakes waters. Under the guise of ?protecting? these areas, the current second phase of the Task Force direction is to develop zoning which may permanently close vast areas of fishing waters nationwide. This is to be completed by December 9, 2009.</DIV></DIV><DIV class=clear></DIV><DIV class=shimglobal_parsys><DIV class=shimglobal_parsys_cell><DIV class=shimglobal_texttitleimage><DIV class=text>
Dave Pfeiffer, President of Shimano American Corporation explained, ?In spite of extensive submissions from the recreational fishing community to the Task Force in person and in writing, they failed to include any mention of the over one million jobs or the 6o million anglers which may be affected by the new policies coast to coast. Input from the environmental groups who want to put us off the water was adopted into the report verbatim ? the key points we submitted as an industry were ignored.?

Recreational fishing generates a $125 billion annual economy in the United States and supports jobs in every state according to government figures. Through the Sport Fish Restoration program, anglers have provided more than $5 billion through excise taxes on fishing tackle to fishery conservation and education for decades.

In addition to the economic aspects, anglers lead the nation in volunteer conservation efforts on behalf of improving fish habitat, water quality and related environmental areas. ?There was no mention of the fishery conservation efforts which anglers have led for over 50 years in every state ? an environmental success story that has no equal in the world?, said Phil Morlock, Director, Environmental Affairs for Shimano. ?The Task Force did not make any distinction between the dramatic differences between harmful commercial fishing harvest methods and recreational fishing, even though we spelled it out for them in detail,? added Morlock.

Claiming to be the result of a public consultation process the report states, ?Having considered a broad range of public comments, this report reflects the requests and concerns of all interested parties.?

The original White House memo and not surprisingly the Task Force report contains multiple references to developing a national policy where Great Lakes and coastal regions are managed, ?consistent with international law, including customary international law as reflected in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea? - a 300-page treaty the U.S. has never ratified.

?We question what implications there will be for state authority and jurisdiction in the Great Lakes and coastal regions if the U.S. adopts the U.N. Treaty,? said Pfeiffer.

The report makes it clear that future authority for implementing the policy for coastal and inland waters will fall under White House jurisdiction with a new National Ocean Council comprised of over 20 federal agencies at Cabinet Secretary or Deputy Secretary level. No reference to Congressional jurisdiction is indicated.

?This significant change in U.S. policy direction is the result of a 90-day fire drill process as ordered by the President that, not surprisingly, lacks balance, clarity and quality in the end product,? said Morlock. ?People who simply want to take their kids fishing on public waters deserve better from their government,? he added.

Shimano is joining with other members of the recreational fishing industry to urge anglers to contact their members of Congress and the administration to request this process be required to adopt the economic, conservation and social contributions of recreational fishing as key elements of the policy. It is critical that we ensure Congressional oversight and state jurisdiction and management continues.

E-letters can be sent to the administration and members of Congress by visiting
KeepAmericaFishing.org. The future of fishing is in your hands.

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Editor?s Note: Phil Morlock is attending Congressional Sportsmen?s Caucus functions this week in Washington, DC, but will make himself available for questions, interviews on this. Contact John Mazurkiewicz with Catalyst Marketing for arrangements.
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We need to stay vigilant. It is amazing how little press the Protest in DC on Wednesday has drawn. I did notice that a few of the NOAA spokespeople are still fond of Catch Shares.
 
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