Fishing Alliance Launches Freedom to Fish Initiative in
NJ)- Today, the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA)
announces a national initiative to introduce "Freedom
to Fish" legislation in coastal states. This initiative
is in response to the radical environmental movement to
close off vast areas of our oceans by creating no fishing
marine protected areas (MPAs). In the first phase of this
effort, RFA and affiliates will be introducing "Freedom
to Fish" bills in California, Delaware, Maryland,
Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, South Carolina,
Texas, Virginia and Washington.
were among the first conservationists," said Jim
Donofrio, RFA Executive Director. "Recreational fishing
remains one of the most popular outdoor sporting activities
in the United States yet as weíve seen in California,
weíre now being targeted by these radical environmental
organizations. Itís time for everyone to focus on specific
gear thatís causing specific problems."
fishermen have long demonstrated a commitment to
conservation through abidance with minimum size
requirements, bag limits, seasonal closures, and the use of
non-lethal rod and reel fishing gear. Rod and reel fishing
is a highly selective, inherently inefficient method of
catching fish that traditionally has not led to overfishing.
The RFA state
Freedom to Fish bills prohibit closures to rod and reel
fishing unless there is a clear indication that it is the
cause of a specific conservation problem. This legislation
would also establish requirements for closures including
periodic review, scientifically based size restrictions for
any closure, and provisions to reopen areas to rod and reel
fishing whenever the basis for the closure no longer exists.
to Fish legislation isnít about banning MPAs. Itís about
safeguarding public access to our public resources,"
said Herb Moore, Jr., RFA Director of Government Affairs.
boat builders, retailers, party and charter boat businesses,
marinas and many others depend on access to healthy,
well-managed fisheries," said Michael Doebley, RFA
Deputy Director of Government Affairs. "The RFA state
Freedom to Fish bills require specific conservation problems
to be identified, and specific measures to be taken to
address the problems, rather than having arbitrary closures
based on emotion and anti-fishing agendas."
Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) is a national,
grassroots political action organization representing
individual sport fishermen and the sport fishing industry.
The RFA Mission is to safeguard the rights of saltwater
anglers, protect marine, boat and tackle industry jobs and
ensure the long-term sustainability of U.S. saltwater
fisheries. For more information, call 1-888-JOIN-RFA.