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ASA reiterates its support for under-fire 30 by 30 initiative


The 30 by 30 initiative – which seeks to conserve 30% of all US lands and waters by 2030 – has divided opinion. But the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the trade body representing the recreational fishing industry, has expressed support for the latest report on the plan.

The report – Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful – has been released by several federal agencies and provides initial recommendations on how to achieve the 30 by 30 goal. And in a news release, the ASA has expressed appreciation for its consistent acknowledgements of recreational fishing’s importance. 

“The 30 by 30 initiative has generated a lot of attention within the recreational fishing community, not always in a positive way, due to concerns that it will be used as a means to arbitrarily restrict recreational fishing access,” said Mike Leonard, ASA’s Vice President of Government Affairs. “However, we are pleased that the Biden Administration is approaching 30 by 30 with an understanding of the significant cultural, economic and conservation benefits that recreational fishing provides to the nation.”

The latest report is directed by President Biden’s Executive Order, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. Leonard added: “This report is notable not only for its incorporation of many positive strategies for how 30 by 30 should be implemented, including its emphasis on increasing access for outdoor recreation, but also for what it avoids, specifically by not recommending the pursuit of protected areas in which recreational fishing might be banned without a scientific basis.

“There are many valuable programmes that benefit aquatic resource conservation and fishing opportunities, including the National Fish Habitat Action Plan, State Wildlife Action Plans, the National Marine Sanctuaries System, the National Estuarine Research Reserve System and the newly-proposed Civilian Climate Corps,” said Leonard. 

“We appreciate that these are the types of legitimate conservation programmes that the Biden Administration is prioritising in its 30 by 30 plan. We look forward to continued dialogue with the administration to ensure 30 by 30 stays on course.”

For more information on the fishing and hunting community’s position on 30 by 30, click here

Picture: Courtesy of HuntFish 30×30

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