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Sportfishing Industry Asks EPA to Dismiss Petition to Ban Lead in Tackle

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Lead in fishing tackle under attack by the EPA Lead in fishing tackle under attack by the EPA

Petition side-steps sound science in its argument for the ban.

Alexandria, VA - September 9, 2010 - Yesterday, the sportfishing industry submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requesting that the petition to ban lead in all fishing gear be denied. The petition, which was filed on August 23, by the Center for Biological Diversity and four other organizations, cites the impact on waterbirds as the main reason for the requested ban. Also submitting requests for denial are the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. In addition to the proposed ban on lead fishing gear, the petition also requested a ban on lead in ammunition for the hunting and the shooting sports. The EPA denied that petition on August 27, 2010.

A similar petition to ban lead in fishing tackle was presented to the EPA in 1992. In 1994, EPA abandoned its proposed rule after finding that the impact of lead did not present a threat to any bird population; that the economic impact was significant; and that the proposed rule was socially unacceptable.

"Each of those findings remains valid today," said ASA Vice President Gordon Robertson. "The petitioners have presented little credible evidence to suggest that lead in recreational fishing products is threatening the health of either humans or wildlife. Substantive evidence about the impact of lead on waterbird populations - a central theme of the petition - is glaringly absent."

In addition, the petition:

•    Significantly underestimates the economic impact of removing all lead from fishing tackle on the sportfishing industry and the American recreational fishing public.

•    Seriously overstates the availability and practicality of most alternatives to lead recreational fishing products.

•    Fails to recognize that state fish and wildlife agencies are the proper regulatory authorities to address instances of documented waterbird mortality.

"The petitioners claim that there are many comparable alternative materials that will minimize the social and economic impacts of a lead ban," noted Robertson. "Steel, tin and tungsten are the only suitable alternatives to lead in fishing tackle and they have limitations in performance, application and price. Tin- and tungsten-based fishing gear could cost ten to twenty times more than their lead counterparts."

"Since 1933 the sportfishing industry has strongly supported administrative and legislative initiatives that support clean water and healthy and abundant fish populations," said Robertson. "We continue to stand behind such measures, especially those that remove health-threatening pollutants from our waterways. Lead in its manufactured form in recreational fishing equipment poses little to no harm to the environment. We want citizens to know that lead in fishing equipment also poses a minute health risk for humans and waterbird populations."

Robertson concluded, "Members of the hunting community spoke out against the petition with a positive outcome. We are proud that thousands of anglers have already submitted comments to the EPA opposing this unjustified petition. We encourage all anglers to let their voices be heard demonstrating that the American angling public does not support the petitioners' unreasonable request."

Comments to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Members of Congress may be made submitted through KeepAmericaFishing.org.

Who are the ASA?

The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry's trade association, committed to looking out for the interests of the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry a unified voice speaking out when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. We invest in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic and conservation values of sportfishing in America. ASA also represents the interests of America's 60 million anglers who generate over $45 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation's economy creating employment for over one million people







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Comments (15 posted):

Editor on 10/09/2010 10:09:04
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What do you think about this topic? Should lead be banned and other materials be found instead? In the UK we now use Tungsten amongst others for example.
fyshstykr on 10/09/2010 14:52:13
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Personally I have no problem using Tungsten or other substitutes (when I need weight) and think getting away from lead in the long run is a good idea. I also think steel shot when hunting should be mandatory everywhere, not just on Federal Property. Just my .02 worth.
mcnerney on 10/09/2010 15:07:24
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I'm in agreement with Fysh! Larry
jpbfly on 10/09/2010 15:28:46
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Agree with Larry and Fysh ....too;)
madjoni on 10/09/2010 17:04:28
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Well,i dont agree for hunting....steel shots are bad,or better say not good enough
oregonsteel on 11/09/2010 00:44:54
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What do you think about this topic? Should lead be banned and other materials be found instead? In the UK we now use Tungsten amongst others for example. I have seen this topic URGENTLY posted on boards like it is an attack on fishermen. People complaining about the cost that it will bring. What about cost to farmers that get less water due to the needs of salmon and steelhead? My point is not that farmers should get all the water they want, their financial end result being optimal over the wildlife. In fact I am sickened how a decent amount of water from the delta that is threatening fish with extinction only goes to multimillion dollar corporations WHO GET THE WATER AT A DISCOUNT (FROM THE TAXPAYERS) THEN RESELL IT TO THE TAXPAYER AT A GOOD PROFIT!! Looking at other boards where this topic is posted as a urgent notice to fisherman to attack it, the exact harm of lead in our waters is never mentioned. I never see a post saying "look, the science says that lead does not pose a danger", only "it is going to increase our costs X%." Seems kind of hypocritical to me.
mojo on 11/09/2010 03:09:59
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I have seen this topic URGENTLY posted on boards like it is an attack on fishermen. People complaining about the cost that it will bring. What about cost to farmers that get less water due to the needs of salmon and steelhead? My point is not that farmers should get all the water they want, their financial end result being optimal over the wildlife. In fact I am sickened how a decent amount of water from the delta that is threatening fish with extinction only goes to multimillion dollar corporations WHO GET THE WATER AT A DISCOUNT (FROM THE TAXPAYERS) THEN RESELL IT TO THE TAXPAYER AT A GOOD PROFIT!! Looking at other boards where this topic is posted as a urgent notice to fisherman to attack it, the exact harm of lead in our waters is never mentioned. I never see a post saying "look, the science says that lead does not pose a danger", only "it is going to increase our costs X%." Seems kind of hypocritical to me. The salmon and steelhead were there long before the farmers. I'm not sure where you're going with the big $$$$ corporations getting water and selling it back to taxpayers. That went way over my head. I've seen the same subject on other boards and there is quite a lot of questions and only a few mention the $$$$ cost to the fisher, the retailer and the manufacturer. I doubt if there are many companies today that really rely on just selling lead jigs, split shot etc. You have to diversify to suceed in todays world. There is a lot of questions regarding where IS the scientific data. So here it is again. WHERE IS THE SCIENTIFIC DATA AS TO THE DAMAGE THAT LEAD DOES TO WILDLIFE (and I don't mean peta's fabricated stories)
mudbug on 11/09/2010 03:24:20
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WHERE IS THE SCIENTIFIC DATA AS TO THE DAMAGE THAT LEAD DOES TO WILDLIFE (and I don't mean peta's fabricated stories) This. I have a very hard time believing anything the environuts say. They have told so many half truths and exaggerations to the detriment of Human Beings that everything they say just has the ring of untrue to me. I love Nature, I want clean water and air, beautiful scenery, plus I don't want to die from some kind of awful cancer, BUT I need real proof, not just stories.
kg6bws on 11/09/2010 05:00:47
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Personally I have no problem using Tungsten or other substitutes (when I need weight) and think getting away from lead in the long run is a good idea. I also think steel shot when hunting should be mandatory everywhere, not just on Federal Property. Just my .02 worth. Steel or other non-lead shots are a requirement throughout the U.S. for hunting waterfowl, not just on federal land. Here in CA, its also a requirement for hunting anything in the "Condor Zone". I dont mind going to the use of non-lead weights. It might cost a little more but the rise in price wont be much. My biggest problem with it is that I havent seen anything that convinces me the enviro's are right. With waterfowl refuges, it was pretty well proven that the lead shot was causing harm to the bird populations. A lot of ducks are dabblers (tip upside down to feed off the bottom), hence they would pick up lead pellets when they would feed. The difference being the amount of lead in a heavily hunted waterway versus a heavily fished water way. Fisherman would leave lead weights numbering maybe in the hundreds over a year. Hunters on the other hand would leave lead shot numbering in the millions.
oregonsteel on 11/09/2010 05:38:59
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The salmon and steelhead were there long before the farmers. I'm not sure where you're going with the big $$$$ corporations getting water and selling it back to taxpayers. That went way over my head. I've seen the same subject on other boards and there is quite a lot of questions and only a few mention the $$$$ cost to the fisher, the retailer and the manufacturer. I doubt if there are many companies today that really rely on just selling lead jigs, split shot etc. You have to diversify to suceed in todays world. There is a lot of questions regarding where IS the scientific data. So here it is again. WHERE IS THE SCIENTIFIC DATA AS TO THE DAMAGE THAT LEAD DOES TO WILDLIFE (and I don't mean peta's fabricated stories) As for your first question, google "westlands water resell water". Here is a article if you dont feel like googling http://www.ewg.org/files/agmag/Virtual-Flood.pdf Westlands water rustlers' latest job | Badlands Journal Bottom line, water is sold with taxpayer money to farmers. The majority of this goes to huge corporations who do not farm, but use the water rights to resell it back to the taxpayer at huge margins. The taxpayer pays for the huge corporation to buy the water at a subsidized price, then the taxpayer again buys the water back at many times what the corporation paid for it. Alot of these big corporations are in the california central value, that gets its water from the san francisco bay. Another article on Darth Westlands Water Rates | Environmental Working Group Westlands want to raise the dam on lake siskiyou taking out miles of fly fishing on the fabled mccloud river and upper sac Westlands Wants to Raise Shasta Dam And Grab $40 Billion in Subsidized Water | The Trout Underground Fly Fishing Blog :
Editor on 13/09/2010 10:51:03
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Lead poisoning in wildfowl was held up as the main reason for the UK to switch a few years ago. Here is one of the reports at the time;- click here
okuma on 28/09/2010 17:00:25
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For many years, I worked in the steel industry. Believe me, steel is not a safe alternative. No real proof of lead dangers, no ban
Editor on 05/10/2010 11:08:58
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Here's the latest update from the ASA regarding a bill lodged to oppose the overarching proposed ban on all lead in fishing tackle. Please click here to view the full ASA newsletter.
okuma on 05/10/2010 12:58:10
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Very informative. Thank you sir!
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