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Presidential Hopefuls Talk Fishing

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Presidential Hopefuls Talk Fishing

In response to KeepAmericaFishing™, US Presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney outline their approach to fisheries conservation and angler access to public waters in the run up to the big day on November 6th. Check out what they have to say.

On the campaign trail, presidential hopefuls rarely talk about recreational fishing or the use of public lands for recreational activities. Now anglers across the nation can read a side-by-side comparison of how the presidential candidates plan to address fisheries conservation and angler access to public waters at www.KeepAmericaFishing.org/youdecide.

KeepAmericaFishing™, the American Sportfishing Association’s (ASA) angler advocacy campaign, posed questions to presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney regarding management of our nation’s fisheries and access to recreational fishing. Each candidate received the same questions except for one that is specific to his tenure as either President or Governor. The questions address issues that impact our nation’s 60 million anglers, ranging from stopping the spread of harmful invasive species to over-reaching closures of waters to recreational fishing as a management tool.

“We asked these questions to inform and empower anglers to be active advocates for the sportfishing community” said ASA Vice President Gordon Robertson. “Anglers represent a huge voting block that can significantly impact the 2012 presidential election. It is vital to the future of sportfishing that anglers are informed and use their vote as a voice.”

KeepAmericaFishing encourages anglers to review the responses and on Election Day vote for the candidate they believe will best advance the nation and the model of conservation that perpetuates healthy fishery resources and access to those public resources.

Read the candidates’ answers these important questions below at www.KeepAmericaFishing.org/youdecide.

1. Recreational anglers in America are always curious to know if their leaders are also recreational anglers. Please, tell our members about your angling experiences.

2. What do you believe are some of the leading threats to our nation's fisheries and recreational fishing itself?

3. The user-pay model of fish and wildlife management in the United States is the envy of other nations that care about their natural resources. Tell KeepAmericaFishing members why it is especially important now and how you will support the model and perhaps make it better?

4. A trend in recent years has been to close large areas of the ocean to all fishing, including recreational fishing. Please tell our members whether you support such closures and under what circumstances you would or would not?

5. A most egregious case of a heavy-handed federal government action is the closure of beaches to fishing and other recreational activities at Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area in North Carolina. These closures extend far beyond common sense and what is needed for resource protection, and as a result are devastating a community that depends on tourism generated by public access. Anglers fear that the same approach is about to be used in Biscayne National Park in Florida. If (re) elected as President, how will you prevent these types of over-reach by the federal government?

6. Invasive species pose a significant threat to many of our nation's waterways, including the Great Lakes where Asian carp are right on the doorstep and threatening the region's $7 billion sportfishing economy. What will you do to control the introduction and spread of harmful invasive species?

7. Recreational fishing has a $125 billion economic impact on the Nation each year and supports over a million jobs. As a President, what are the three most important things you can do for recreational fishing in America?

8. Question specific to their term of office (see below).

President Barack Obama - As President you initiated a new national ocean policy that anglers fear poses serious questions about the future of recreational access to our nation's waters. In your second term what plans do you have for that policy initiative, and can you provide assurance that large areas of public waters will not be unnecessarily closed through this policy?

Governor Mitt Romney - When you were Governor of Massachusetts you proposed diverting hunting and fishing license fees to other programs, then reconsidered after anglers and hunters and angler/hunter groups expressed opposition. Why did you make that proposal and what did you learn from the experience that caused you to withdraw it?

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Comments (7 posted):

noreaster on 19/09/2012 10:12:17
I always worry that big business corporate deals inevitably put fish and other ecology in the back seat. I have yet to see an administration make loss and degradation of fresh water habitat a real priority. Time will tell. I remember as a kid fishing a small pond in town near a busy intersection. Dad and I landed many fish amongst all the jeering and laughs from motorists waiting at the lights. Little did they know the sea run brookies made their way up under the intersection from the river and sea. A few years later a prominent business man back filled the marsh and put up a large Tim Horton's. That pretty much disrupted and spoiled the annual run of fish. It was never the same.:icon_sad:
wt bash on 19/09/2012 13:16:36
I'm fairly indifferent to what politicians say in this context, it all hinges on who their audience is. While its nice to know where they stand its not going to sway my vote, I'm slowly climbing out of poverty into the middle class ( going by todays standards) and would like to keep climbing. In my opinion based on what I've read on policy and heard from certain interviews and speeches there's only one that's going to help that happen. The other seems to care more about the top 10% and whats best for them, I mean lets face it when you live on the top shelf you can't even see whats happening down on the bottom.
sweetandsalt on 19/09/2012 13:42:19
I expect any skilled politician to pander to his/her audience. Reading the questions and responses in their entirety non-the-less, my sense is that, while both candidates indicate an intention of incorporating the views of fishing organizations into their policy making process, the President emphasises the application of science to protect resources while the Governor promotes the elimination of red tape, to bolster local economies and reduce governmental size by downsizing regulatory agencies. When developers start making preservation of wildlife/fish habitat a priority in land use, I'll start re-evaluating my belief that only stringent regulations can begin to protect our shorelines and river banks from devastating abuse. Clearly, neither men are anglers but the President expressed an interest in "catching a tarpon". This will not be the only reason though that I will vote for him.
Rip Tide on 19/09/2012 13:43:22
This KeepAmericaFishing claims to be an angler advocacy group but in reality they represent the tackle industry. Everything that I've ever seen from them is biased in that direction and not necessarily what's best for the fisheries. Science rather than salesmen need to direct policy They don't represent me.
JoJer on 27/09/2012 21:36:59
I read the responses from both and it doesn'tchange my opinion that neither of them represents me. I think that after the election, who ever is in office will want to try to create jobs via extractive industries and the pipeline. Once that gets agoin' we'll see how concerned they are with all the natural resources and the environment. Personally, I think (reguardless of party) they're lining up to sell it off as fast as they can.
littledavid123 on 27/09/2012 23:53:57
The post was off topic.
wannafish on 29/09/2012 01:51:07
The post was off topic. Now I really want to know what he said :)
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