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Conservation groups call for lead ban in Minnesota

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A move by conservation groups in Minnesota to ban lead in fishing tackle in the U.S. state was defeated this week.

Conservation groups are calling for a ban on lead in fishing tackle in Minnesota.

A petition filed in September urges the U.S. state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to prohibit the use of lead in tackle on waters where loons are known to nest. 

However, angling groups have protested strongly against the move, saying it would have a detrimental effect on tourism, the economy and those dependent on outdoor recreation for a living.

The petition urges the use a of non-toxic alternatives such as tin, steel, tungsten and bismuth, but the extra cost and higher size-to-weight ratios of different materials are known to be issues for the industry.

A similar proposal to prohibit lead in the state was submitted last year, but was denied by the Commissioner.

The petition, filed by the Friends of Minnesota Scientific & Natural Areas, also proposes that the ban extend to lead ammunition right across the state. A response from the DNR was expected by this week.

Legislation seeking an outright ban of fishing weights of 50 gms or less in California was averted last year when the bill was amended to a ‘study’  of the potential impacts of lead on the state’s wildlife.

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