“A United States framework for policy coordination of efforts to improve stewardship of the oceans, our coasts, and the Great Lakes….”
“An implementation strategy that identifies and prioritizes a set of objectives the United States should pursue to meet the objectives of a national policy for the oceans, our coasts, and the Great Lakes.”
The memorandum gave the task force 180 days to address the following:
Additionally, the interim report set out this “vision” for the future of our aquatic resources:
“An America whose stewardship ensures that the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes are healthy and resilient, safe and productive, and understood and treasured so as to promote the well-being, prosperity, and security of present and future generations.”
The report then goes on to say the following:
“America is intricately connected to and directly reliant on the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes. Each of us – whether living and working in the country’s heartland or along its coasts – affects and is affected by these places. Their beauty inspires us, and their bounty contributes to our national well-being and security…With over 95,000 miles of coastline and the largest exclusive economic zone in the world, our Nation benefits from a wealth of goods and services derived from the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes. They provide food, fresh water, minerals, energy, and other natural resources and ecological benefits. They support tens of millions of jobs, and are a source of recreation….”
“Along many areas of our coasts and within the Great Lakes, biological diversity is in decline due to overfishing, introduction of invasive species, and loss and degradation of essential habitats from coastal development and associated human activities. The introduction of non-native species can carry significant ecological and economic costs….”
Additionally, the task force set out some objectives for the new regulations. The following are some examples:
Support sustainable, safe, secure, and productive uses of the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes.
Respect and preserve our Nation’s maritime heritage, including our social, cultural, and historical values.
Although this is not the report in its entirety, these are some key parts that I think probably contributed to the “fishing ban” rumors. These key parts should also clue a person into the falsity of such a rumor. I did read the full report, and nowhere did I see it state that a complete ban of ALL FISHING should be enacted. What I did see, however, is a government who is noticing that there have been some factors in recent years that have been very detrimental to our aquatic resources as a whole. Though some people do not want to acknowledge or face the truth, the government is not wrong in addressing these concerns. For example, the introduction of Zebra Mussels in North American fisheries have caused millions…yes millions…of dollars in damage to the Great Lakes Region alone. Economic damage is not the only concern, however, with these unwanted intruders. The introduction of Zebra Mussels threaten to disrupt aquatic communities throughout most of North America.
On top of these types of alien introductions to our aquatic systems, the industry of commercial fishing is a hot topic for regulation these days, as well. Commercial fishing is an industry that is in full force all over the world. In our country alone, commercial fishing is one of the oldest industries known. On the upside, it has given many people a chance to make an income, feed families, and to make a go at the “American” dream. On the downside, however, some commercial fishing practices have seriously decreased our numbers of certain types of fish. Please note that I put practices in bold for a reason. I am not against the industry nor do I feel that the commercial fishing industry as a whole is to blame. However, some practices that are utilized by some in the industry could be partly to blame for the decline.
Christine Glunz, spokeswoman for the Council on Environmental Quality, gave this statement to FOXnews on Wednesday, “These draft reports are not map-drawing exercises, they do not contain a zoning plan and they do not establish any restrictions on recreational fishing or on public access, nor make any judgments about whether one ocean activity or use is better than another.” She also stated, “the task force “sincerely appreciates” the conservation efforts of recreational fishermen and women, and it believes their continued enjoyment of that activity is “critical to the economic, social and cultural fabric” of the United States. In fact, one of our main goals is to ensure healthier ocean, coasts and Great Lakes, which will benefit all recreational activities and the communities and economies that rely on them.”
I would advise that anglers keep in mind the reasons why the government might have deemed it necessary to examine the state of our aquatic resources at this time. I cannot disagree with a plan to put forth some new regulations to ensure the preservation and quality of such resources for us, our children, and future generations.
We should also remember that there was another President who did much the same thing in the early 1900’s. Teddy Roosevelt, an avid hunter and conservationalist, saw a great need to preserve some of our nation’s land as “wild and natural” for future generations. Because humans were expanding and growing so rapidly into the new frontier, the land in its natural state was being destroyed. Therefore, regulations had to be put into place to protect and nurture part of our nation in its original, wild state. President Roosevelt understood that, without regulation, neither the land, nor the beautiful lessons that it can teach us, would be there for future generations to enjoy.
I am not concerned about my hobby being yanked away from me by the goverment…at least not at the present time. It is pretty clear to me that the “complete fishing ban” rumor is based on a complete misunderstanding of the new task force recommendations. I am aware that many people will disagree with me on the topic and that many people are very much up in arms about the new policies being suggested. However, all I am asking is that before you jump to conclusions or make rash judgments or trust the opinions of others, find out the facts for yourself. Do your research!!! You just cannot formulate a sound, reasonable opinion without having the facts.
And this goes double for reputable news agencies and news sources from which much of our knowledge as a society is derived. Shame on you (and you know who you are) for propogating a rumor that has absolutely no factual basis and for transmitting such material in a way that is so outrageously irresponsible and reckless.
These types of issues may not be quite as important to the media as say…some out-of-control celebrity’s latest antics or who will go first in the NFL draft next month, but these are issues that many Americans hold near and dear to thier hearts. Fishing is not only a recreational activity, but is a passion which cannot be described in words. It is a love affair with nature which holds your heart forever. It is a lifestyle that breathes into every angler a fresh, positive outlook with every new lake, and puts forth into the world a renewed energy with each changing season.
To you it may just be an obscure sport for which you can find no reason to waste time finding the truth…but to US, to this nation’s anglers…it is our soul.
Happy Fishing (for many years to come!!!) ~
LIZZY aka The Fisherbabe
If you would like to read up on some of the happenings (with both the government and fellow angers), quite a bit more information can be found by going to http://sports.espn.go.com/outdoors/fishing/featureIndex?page=angling_for_access_archive_Angling%20For%20Access%20News%20Archive
**Sources used for information in this post: