A last-minute decree from the Obama Administration to phase out the use of traditional fishing tackle in waters under the management of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has drawn the ire of the recreational angling community. Filed on the day before President Obama left office, Director’s Order No. 219 will require the use of nontoxic ammunition and fishing tackle to the fullest extent practicable for all activities on Service lands, waters and facilities by January 2022, except as needed for law enforcement or health and safety uses, as provided for in policy.
Coastal Conservation Association is joining partners in the recreational angling, boating and tackle community to call on new leadership at the Service to rescind Order No. 219 and work to develop instead a science-driven policy with input from stakeholders.
“This is clearly not the way to make policy, particularly where the cost of implementing such a policy stands to be significant and the benefits are not clearly defined,” said Bill Bird, chairman of CCA’s National Government Relations Committee. “Banning lead tackle would increase the cost of fishing and reduce funds available for fisheries conservation and habitat restoration. This is a hasty and unnecessary proclamation that must be reversed in order to make a better-informed decision.”
“In the limited instances where lead fishing tackle is demonstrated to harm local wildlife populations, the sportfishing industry supports actions to minimize or eliminate these impacts,” said Scott Gudes, vice president of Government Affairs for the American Sportfishing Association. “However, unnecessary and sweeping bans such as this Director’s Order will do nothing to benefit wildlife populations and instead will penalize the nation’s 46 million anglers and hurt recreational fishing-dependent jobs.”