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Oppose the Proposed Federal Ban on Lead in Fishing Tackle

Submit your comments to the Environmental Protection Agency opposing the proposed ban on lead in fishing tackle

The Situation
On August 23, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was petitioned by the Center for Biological Diversity and four other organizations to ban all lead in fishing tackle under the Toxic Substances Control Act. This includes sinkers, jigs, weighted fly line, and components that contain lead such as brass and ballast in a wide variety of lures, including spinners, stick baits and more.

It is important that anglers send your comments now! Let your voice be heard!

On August 27, 2010, the EPA denied the petition for ammunition but maintained the petition to ban lead fishing tackle. Supporters of hunting and the shooting sports have been successful in having ammunition excluded from this ban.

The petition was presented with the aim of reducing bird deaths caused by the ingestion of lead sinkers and jigheads; however, a study conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that less than one percent of all waterfowl and other birds such as eagles are killed by lead sinker ingestion.

The reasons for opposing the ban are:

  • The data does not support a federal ban on lead sinkers used for fishing. In general, bird populations, including loons and other waterfowl species, are subject to much more substantial threats such as habitat loss through shoreline development. Any lead restrictions need to be based on sound science that supports the appropriate action for a particular water body or species.
     
  • Depending on the alternative metal and current prevailing raw material costs, non-lead fishing tackle products can cost from six to 15 times more than lead products. Non-lead products may not be as available and most do not perform as well. Mandatory transitioning to non-lead fishing tackle would require significant changes from both the industry and anglers.
     
  • A federal ban of the use of lead in fishing tackle will have a significant negative impact on recreational anglers and fisheries resources, but a negligible impact on waterfowl populations.
     
  • America's 60 million anglers generate over $45 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nationís economy creating employment for over one million people.

Anglers are encouraged to support voluntary angler education programs for the use of lead sinkers and should urge state and federal fish and wildlife agencies to do the same. 

How You Can Help
The EPA has opened the petition for public comments. Click here to submit your comments to the EPA and your members of Congress.

 

Thank you for doing your part to KeepAmericaFishing!