ASA hits out at ban on lead fishing tackle
The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) – the representative body for the US tackle industry – has hit out at a ban on fishing with lead on certain National Wildlife Refuges.
It follows a final ruling from the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) that prohibits the use of lead fishing tackle on certain waters that are being opened to fishing.
ASA’s Vice President of Government Affairs, Mike Leonard, said: “It is deeply disappointing that the USFWS ignored science and the concerns of the sportfishing industry. USFWS is charged with ensuring fish and resource management is rooted in the best available data and science.
“This proposed rule runs counter to that charge and sets a dangerous precedent for future unwarranted bans on fishing tackle. Although USFWS states that the decision is based on concerns that lead ammunition and tackle have negative impacts on the health and wellbeing of both humans and wildlife, it provided zero evidence of lead fishing tackle causing any negative impacts on these refuges.
“As we have previously said, ASA and the entire sportfishing community support science-based conservation initiatives. Our industry has long made sacrifices for the betterment of the environment and wildlife. While anglers should have a choice of whether they want to use alternatives, it is important to recognise non-lead tackle may be more expensive and perform worse.
“We hope the USFWS realises the error it made in this rule and reconsiders its implementation. Anglers should be able to keep using traditional tackle as they have for generations.”