Lead ban on US wildlife refuges set to be implemented
The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) has made a strong response to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announcement that it will proceed with prohibitions on lead fishing tackle in several US wildlife refuges.
The Association’s Vice President of Government Affairs, Mike Leonard (pictured), said: “While we appreciate the USFWS’s focus on expanding fishing access for the nation’s 52 million anglers, it is deeply disappointing to see the continuation of baseless and harmful restrictions on the types of tackle they can use.
“As we have stated in our industry position statement, restrictions on lead fishing tackle must be based on sound science documenting that lead has an impact on specific wildlife populations and developed in conjunction with state fish and wildlife agencies. We have repeatedly sought that evidence from USFWS but have yet to receive it.”
The Association is also concerned that the USFWS is working with states and the hunting community, but has not consulted with the $148 billion sportfishing industry.
“Although we hope the USFWS will work with us on a path forward that allows continued access for sportsmen, with science as the driving factor for decisions, this latest action reinforces the need for the Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act to ensure best management practices are followed,” added Leonard.