Recently, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) joined the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the Coastside Fishing Club, the Coastal Conservation Association and the California Sportfishing League in expressing concerns with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control’s (DTSC) efforts to unnecessarily regulate commonly used fishing tackle as identified within the DTSC Priority Work Plan.
The comments were submitted as a result of DTSC’s decision to include fishing tackle on its final list of priority consumer products flagged for new regulations based on the department’s unfounded assertion that they pose a significant threat to Californians and its natural resources. Despite protests from California’s angling community and a lack of scientific evidence suggesting that fishing tackle is a source of these threats, through its priority work plan, DTSC has declared fishing tackle to be one of the top seven most significant threats to Californians and its environment.
In the letter, CSF and partners in the angling community point out that these onerous regulations on fishing gear could ban commonly used tackle or drive up the cost of purchasing it exponentially. This in turn would likely reduce angler participation in California and have negative impacts on revenue directed to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to support their mission of protecting and enhancing the state’s fish and wildlife resources. In order to fully explain the consequences of limiting the availability of fishing tackle, ASA recently released a report entitled Economic and Participation Impacts from a Ban on Traditional Fishing Tackle in California to illustrate how DTSC’s unnecessary regulations would impact the state.
Key findings of the report include:
– A ban on lead fishing tackle would likely reduce angler activity in California, which would in turn negatively impact the recreational fishing industry and those whose livelihoods depend on it.
– A survey of tackle manufacturers indicated that the price impact of producing lures, flies and terminal tackle with lead substitutes would double costs on average.
– Only 25 percent of manufacturers surveyed indicated that it was even technically feasible to currently switch to non-lead substitutes.
– If a lead ban were to cause prices to double for lures, flies and terminal tackle, the report says that approximately 5 percent of anglers would leave the sport or nearly 80,000 anglers.
– The surveys used in the report also suggest that anglers who continue to fish, 18 percent would fish fewer days, each fishing 21 percent fewer days on average.
– Combined with anglers leaving the sport, this would reduce total California angler days and expenditures in recreational fishing by two million fewer angler days, and $173 million in lost revenues.
– The $173 million in recreational fishing revenues currently supports:
$113.6 million in salaries and wages
$24.2 million in state and local tax revenue
$26.4 million in federal tax revenue
CSF will continue to work with allies in the angling community to oppose unnecessary and burdensome regulations that limit the public’s access to commonly used fishing tackle. For more information about the DTSC Priority Product Work Plan, contact CSF Western States Director Andy Treharne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?