Turning The Tide - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1782223

Turning The Tide

Thank you for Michael Wright’s reminder that the recreational fishing community has everything to gain from more robust engagement with federal, state and local officials charged with stewarding our fisheries and coastal resources [“Fisherman Should Be A Political Force,” In the Field, Sports & Outdoors, May 13].

In my view, this tide has already started to turn, with many East End residents pressing our political leaders to take the actions needed to restore water quality in our bays and abundant fisheries for the benefit of both recreational and commercial fishing communities.

I would encourage your readers to learn more about the work of three nonprofit organizations representing the interests of recreational anglers. Several East End guides are active in the American Saltwater Guides Association (saltwaterguidesassociation.com). ASGA is educating anglers and in April helped drive more than 3,000 public comments to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in response to proposed amendments to the Striped Bass Fisheries Management Plan.

The overwhelming message to federal fisheries managers was to manage striped bass stocks for abundance rather than short-term gain. New York members of the management board responded by supporting several important conservation decisions that help chart a path to restoring the fishery.

On a wider range of outdoor recreation issues, few organizations can match the work of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP.org). TRCP has had a leading role in advocating for the restoration of Atlantic menhaden stocks that are critical to the health of fisheries and our marine environment.

In Florida, Captains for Clean Water (Captainsforcleanwater.org) is pressing state politicians to advance restoration of the Everglades and coastal waters that are essential to fish, wildlife and the state’s tourist economy.

These and other nonprofits are organizing the voice of the outdoor recreation community in support of our fisheries.

Paul Hagen