WASHINGTON, DC– Today, President Bush will announce that he is utilizing the Antiquities Act to declare marine monuments in the Pacific Ocean at three locations: Rose Atoll, the Mariana Trench and the Pacific Remote Island Area (PRIA). Each of these new monuments will ban recreational fishing within a 50 mile radius.
“This decision by the outgoing administration is very disappointing,” said CSF President Jeff Crane. “This ruling restricts recreational anglers access to these public waters without any scientific evidence to support the restriction and sets a bad precedent for these issues in the future.”
Lacking sound scientific evidence to support recreational fishing bans, fisheries conservation organizations, leading recreational fishing groups, the fishing and boating industries, and a bi-partisan group of legislators in the House and Senate voiced opposition to the President and Chairman Connaughton last year about the establishment of “no-fishing” zones and their affect on America’s 40 million recreational anglers who support our user-pay conservation system.
“This decision is in direct contrast with President Bush’s Executive Order 13474 that was supposed to protect recreational fishing in public areas and also presumes that recreational fishing is harmful to these areas when there is no scientific evidence to that affect,” added Crane.
Executive Order 13474 states that, “recreational fishing shall be managed as a sustainable activity in national wildlife refuges, national parks, national monuments, national marine sanctuaries, marine protected areas, or any other relevant conservation or management areas or activities under any federal authority, consistent with applicable law.”