From the US Sportsmans Alliance
A bill recently introduced in the U.S. Senate would protect traditional fishing tackle from being banned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) while offering additional protections for traditional ammunition.
The bill, S. 3850, was introduced on September 28 by Senator Blanche Lincoln (D- AR) and comes after a petition was filed seeking to ban both traditional ammunition and fishing tackle. The petition was filed under the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) by several groups, including the Center for Biological Diversity and the American Bird Conservancy.
The EPA previously announced, in a letter to the petitioners, they did not have the legal authority to ban traditional ammunition. However, in that same letter, they indicated that the EPA does have the authority to review the second portion of the petition regarding traditional fishing tackle.
Senate Bill 3850 will exempt traditional fishing tackle, in a way similar to traditional ammunition, from being regulated under the TSCA. The legislation also includes language strengthening the protections for traditional ammunition by clarifying that its components remain exempt.
Numerous recreational fishing groups have already signaled their support for the legislation and cited concerns that a ban on traditional fishing tackle will result in fewer fishing licenses sold and less dollars being spent on fishing gear. With license sales and excise taxes on fishing gear making up the majority of fishery conservation funding, any reduction in fishing activity will have a negative impact on future conservation efforts.
“The scientific evidence is simply not there to justify such a costly move as banning traditional ammunition and tackle,” said Rob Sexton, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance vice president for government affairs. “The harm caused by these types of bans could devastate fishing and wildlife conservation for generations to come.”
Other groups echo Sexton’s statement.
"If the petition is accepted as presented, all lead in all fishing tackle would be banned, which would substantially increase the cost of recreational fishing and negatively impact angler participation across the country," said American Sportfishing Association (ASA) Vice President Gordon Robertson. "Senator Lincoln's legislation will help to ensure that future regulations on fishing tackle are established in response to scientific data instead of unjustified petitions."
Take Action! Sportsmen should contact their U.S. Senators immediately and ask that they join Sen. Lincoln in sponsoring this legislation and seek its passage. Tell them that a ban on traditional fishing tackle is not scientifically warranted and that it will result in much less funding for fishery conservation. Also tell them that further protections for traditional ammunition should be included in order to avoid future attacks that could limit wildlife conservation funding as well.
To find your Senator’s contact information, please visit http://www.ussportsmen.org/LAC.