ASA launches ‘Pitch It’ litter campaign
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America’s industry trade association has launched a nationwide campaign to encourage anglers to dispose of their soft plastic baits responsibly.
The American Sportfishing Association (ASA), through its KeepAmericaFishing® grassroots angler advocacy campaign, has introduced the Pitch It initiative as a direct result of the proposed legislative ban in Maine on the sale and use of soft plastics.
The ASA says: “While legislators are contending that baits discarded in our waterways were harming fish populations, we are not aware of any study done in the wild showing the detrimental impact of soft baits. Years of laboratory tests on soft baits have shown that most fish regurgitate or pass them without harm.
“While there are many environmental factors that have an impact on lakes and streams, we believe that regarding soft plastics, what really exists is a litter problem. As the voice for the recreational fishing industry, the ASA and KeepAmericaFishing developed the Pitch It campaign to address this issue and to educate anglers on proper disposal methods.”
KeepAmericaFishing Director Liz Ogilvy added: ”The genesis of the Pitch It campaign was the potential ban on soft plastic baits and that is the current focus. However, we would like to extend that beyond soft plastics to address any type of littering of our nation’s waterways.”
Ogilvy also said that the ASA and KeepAmericaFishing believe that building awareness and educating anglers is the appropriate action to stop other states that may consider introducing their own legislation.
“Our industry has stepped up to take the initiative to tackle this problem head on and demonstrate that recreational anglers are – as always – the best stewards of our nation’s waterways. In fact, there is a lot of support from the industry on this issue, but special thanks should go to World Fishing Network, Strike King and angling pro Kevin VanDam, who were all significant contributors to getting the campaign off the ground.”