NEW GRETNA, N.J. — A new marketing campaign organized by the American Sportfishing Association and National Marine Manufacturers Association, through the industry sponsored “Keep America Fishing” website, is collecting angler contacts into an electronic database and suppressing open debate on real fisheries reform, according to a recent release from the Recreational Fishing Alliance.
Ever since the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act was reauthorized by Congress in 2006, the Recreational Fishing Alliance has been working to reform the law.
"When Magnuson was passed by unanimous consent without any discussion or debate, inflexible definitions were memorialized by federal law removing all ability to responsibly manage both fish and fishermen," RFA Executive Director Jim Donofrio said in the release. "RFA has been warning the industry about a looming fisheries crisis and calling for an open debate ever since."
According to the ASA's “Keep America Fishing” website, the Nelson/Boren legislation gives NOAA "the time, resources and guidance" to meet its responsibilities to properly implement Magnuson "in the manner in which it was originally envisioned by Congress in 2006."
"For three years, the industry's trade association has fought our efforts to reform Magnuson, while only recently throwing their own personal support into lame-duck session bills by Sen. Nelson and Rep. Boren," Donofrio continued. "The real problem is the Nelson/Boren bills will not help keep Americans fishing but instead will pay a handful of fishermen not to fish."
"Fishermen who signed up for Keep America Fishing e-mail campaigns as are now united under one voice with a group which openly supported the restrictive language written into Magnuson in 2006 and is now advocating for building broader private angler support for catch shares in 2010," Donofrio said.
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