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ASA hits out at unexpected lead ban

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Scott Gudes, ASA Government Affairs Vice President, has hit out at an edict issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to phase out the use of lead on public waters.

The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) has hit out an edict – issued on the day before President Obama left office – to phase out the use of lead fishing tackle on hundreds of thousands of square miles of public lands.

The unexpected announcement, which took the recreational fishing community and the ASA by surprise, requires non toxic fishing tackle to be used on all U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service waters by January 2022.

Scott Gudes, Vice President of Government Affairs for the ASA, said: “Our industry views this unilateral policy to ban lead fishing tackle, which was developed without any input from the trade, other angling organisations, state fish or wildlife agencies, as a complete disregard for the economic and social impact it will have on anglers and the recreational fishing industry.

“In the limited instances where lead fishing tackle is demonstrated to do harm to local wildlife populations, the sportfishing industry supports action to minimise or eliminate these impacts. However, unnecessary and sweeping bans such as this Director’s Order will do nothing to benefit wildlife populations and instead will penalise the nation’s 46 million anglers and hurt recreational fishing dependent jobs.”

Gudes added: “A sound, science-driven and durable policy could have been crafted with input from industry and the broader recreational fishing community. We are hopeful that new leadership at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will repeal the Director’s Order and develop public policy in a way that is open, inclusive and based on science.”

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