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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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obama, romney, keepamericafishing

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