President orders protection for recreational fishing

WASHINGTON—Officials of the Center for Coastal Conservation today praised President Bush’s amendment to Executive Order 12962 as the most sweeping protection of recreational fishing enacted in over 30 years.

“The Executive Order signed by President Bush is the greatest recognition for recreational fishing since the Magnuson Act of 1976,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Coastal Conservation. “We anticipate that President Bush’s Order will bring to a halt the trend toward the arbitrary banning of fishing, boating and similar recreational activities on federal lands and waters.”

The Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 extended America’s jurisdiction to 200 miles for fishery resources, making it possible for the U.S. to enact sound conservation regulations that protect marine resources from destructive practices, such as overfishing by foreign commercial fleets. The act, now commonly known as Magnuson-Stevens, has been amended and strengthened since its original passage.

Angers said the Center has been working with its partners, American Sportfishing Association, Coastal Conservation Association, International Game Fish Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association and The Billfish Foundation to strengthen recreational fishing and boating access in federal waters.

President Bush’s Order states that “…recreational fishing shall be managed as a sustainable activity in national wildlife refuges, national parks, national monuments, national marine sanctuaries, marine protected areas, or any other relevant conservation or management area or activities made under any federal authority, consistent with applicable law.” (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/09/20080926-24.html)

“It is significant that the President announced this Order on the eve of National Hunting and Fishing Day—the day set aside each year to celebrate and honor the great American traditions of hunting and fishing,” Angers said. “Millions of American families engage in recreational fishing and boating activities. These activities are more than just fun—they are multi-billion dollar industries that create and support thousands of jobs in our country.”

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The Center for Coastal Conservation is a non-profit organized under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Center’s mission is to promote good stewardship of America’s marine resources.