NMMA asks Japanese to rethink bass extermination

WASHINGTON - The National Marine Manufacturers Association sent a letter last week to the Japanese Ministry of Environment urging it to conduct more scientific evaluation before ordering the eradication of black bass in its country, essentially destroying bass fishing in that country, NMMA said in a release yesterday.

In the letter, NMMA reminded the Ministry of Environment that Japanese sport fishermen have enjoyed catching black bass since they were first imported in 1925, and eliminating the species would have devastating impact on the sport and related industries. Japan is the world's second largest market for bass fishing gear and equipment, with sales of nearly $600 million per year.

“The forced extinction of the black bass will have the unintended consequence of destroying a major industry in Japan as well as an important recreational activity,” wrote NMMA vice president of Government Relations Monita Fontaine. “NMMA strongly encourages the Ministry to reconsider this policy and remove the black bass from the list of species to be exterminated.”

The Japanese government was spurred to take actions to remove the invasive species by the influential commercial fishing industry, which argued the bass were the cause of the depletion of stocks of valuable, native fish species.

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