Monday, March 22, 2010

Obama Reacts to Internet Reports from ESPN, Fox News

Some representatives of the Obama Administration are working overtime these days trying to convince anglers that it has no plans to ban recreational fishing in marine waters, the Great Lakes and other inland waters. A series of Internet posts and reports from sources such as ESPN and Fox News have worried many people with preposterous assertions that such a prohibition was imminent, thanks to a new ocean policy and marine planning system.

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration chief Jane Lubchenco told a House panel on Wednesday 10 March that her agency had no plans to halt fishing. And Eric Schwaab, the National Marine Fisheries Service chief, released a statement saying NOAA "is committed to adopting policies that will ensure that current and future generations have the opportunity to enjoy the great tradition of recreational fishing."

The rumors first surfaced on Tuesday 9 March from a column posted by Robert Montgomery on ESPN's outdoors Web site. The column questioned whether environmental groups have had undue influence on the White House’s upcoming plans.

The news blog “Drudge Report” then reposted the column, and suddenly dozens of bloggers began writing that President Obama would ban recreational fishing. Titles such as "Obama's Latest Assault on Freedom -- New Regulations Will Ban Sport Fishing" began surfacing, along with messages such as "Barack Obama has a message for America's 60,000,000 anglers -- We don't need you." Fox News, reporting these rumors as through they were news, also featured this headline: "Obama to ban sport fishing?" on 10 March.

The current plans being drafted for a new ocean policy and marine planning system have been put together by an inter-agency task force, which will be setting conservation as a federal top priority and will lay the groundwork for marine special planning. The plan’s final recommendations could eventually lead to efforts to map the sea for different uses, but draft reports from the group have made no suggestions to ban fishing.

Eric Schwaab’s statement, made on behalf of NMFS, on these rumors can be found here:

The original column from ESPN’s website can be found here:

The article from Fox Nation’s website can be found at:

source: Fishlink Sublegals

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