NMMA opposes Presidential proclamation

WASHINGTON – The National Marine Manufacturers Association is opposed to a Presidential proclamation George W. Bush will make today designating the Rose Atoll, the Mariana Trench and the Pacific Remote Island Areas as U.S. National Monuments under the Antiquities Act, NMMA said in a release yesterday,

Under this designation, recreational angling will be effectively prohibited within a 50-mile radius for an undetermined period of time until federal agencies can complete compatibility assessments.

NMMA believes the proclamation bypasses long-standing environmental review and public comment processes and, in partnership with a coalition of recreational fishing and conservation groups, has engaged in a number of discussions with White House officials over the past several months to help ensure recreational angling and boating access in the Pacific Ocean.

“We are disappointed about this new effort to restrict public access to marine resources held in the public trust without a proper review process,” said NMMA President Thom Dammrich. “This new designation needlessly prohibits recreational angling in vast areas of the ocean without any scientific basis and sends the wrong signal that angling is a threat to the environment. We encourage federal agencies to work quickly on their compatibility assessments in order to reopen these areas to America’s anglers.

“As we move forward, we are hopeful that President-Elect Obama and his administration will abandon this model of managing marine resources and look to the angling, boating and conservation communities as partners in environmental stewardship. NMMA is committed to both protecting the environment and the public’s right to water access by working through transparent, science-based processes that enable meaningful stakeholder participation.”

To learn more about NMMA’s recommendations on ocean policy, visit
www.nmma.org/government/federal and click on “U.S. Oceans Policy/Marine Protected Areas.”

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