US state moves to ban soft plastics

IN a worrying move for US anglers a Republican representative from Maine has introduced a bill that would prohibit artificial lures made of rubber in his state’s waters.

According to Sport Fishing magazine it is unknown if the term “rubber” includes all styles of popular softbaits which have been used in the US since the 1960s. 

The bill, authored by Rep. Paul Davis has attracted the attention of the American Sportfishing Association, which released a statement against the legislation, claiming that its intent is clear: “to ban the soft baits that Maine anglers use every day.”

“It is unclear whether it applies to saltwater,” ASA’s vice president Gordon Robertson told Sport Fishing, noting the bill was introduced and applies to the jurisdiction of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and not the Maine Department of Marine Resources. “(But) the bill is intended to ban all soft baits.”

The bill’s language is also broad, not distinguishing which bodies of water may apply.

Maine’s saltwater fishermen rely on soft baits for any number of species, most notably striped bass, the most popular saltwater game fish in the United States, and one responsible for a fair share of the $10.3 billion that saltwater fishermen contributed to the U.S. economy through their sport in 2012.

This proposed legislation – if it does, in fact, seek to ban common soft plastics used in recreational fishing – would be unthinkable to US anglers. And unacceptable. Especially given the fact that no explanation is offered as to why these so-called “rubber” lures should be banned.

Read the full story here:

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