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Editorial November/December 2010

Pew's New Publicity Campaign

We're Your New "Best Buds"

    In the past, I was surprised by positive comments made for shark free marinas that were published by the same group. The Shark Free Marina effort is purely a backdoor tactic by the enviros to shutdown all shark fishing. I was stunned by the rant against our fight for flexibility in the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) in an editorial. Inflexibility in the MSA is the enviros greatest tool to shutdown recreational fisheries. But with this latest effort are we seeing a continued total lack of understanding of the methods used by anti-fishing preservationist groups to impose their ideology on recreational fishermen, or is there a pattern beginning to emerge?
    I also thought, to what purpose is PEW spending dollars to elicit our help to stop surface longlines in the Gulf? What about bottom longlines. They are far more destructive than surface longlining, and in actuality, NOAA states there are only a handful of surface longline vessels working in the Gulf today. Pew doesn’t need our help, they have teams of attorneys on staff, they have many loyal PEW people at NOAA, and they have all the money they need to do anything they want—so why the pointless ads? It became clear to me on Friday, 10-1-10.
    In the fishing section of the Asbury Park Press, a well circulated newspaper from the New Jersey Shore area, a huge headline jumps off the page stating, “Turns Out Representatives of the Environmental Group That Anglers View as the Enemy Really likes to Fish: Fishing With PEW. The article contained photos of David Bard and Adam Enatsky of the PEW Environmental Group holding up blackfish, smiling, and professing to be having a wonderful day on the water.
    PEW is on a new mission and it is apparent this campaign has been set in motion to improve their anti-fishing image to recreational fishermen around the country. Our sources say these angler outreach trips have also taken place with PEW representatives and local captains in other regions including South Carolina, New York and coming soon to New England and Florida.
    PEW Charitable Trusts and the PEW Environment Group along with PEW funded environmental organizations are masters at infiltration, deception, and secret agendas. They will stop at nothing to force their ideology down our throats. You can bet your last dollar there is a well-planned agenda in progress beginning with these attempts to improve their image to recreational fishermen. Understand, this effort at an image change is a classic PEW maneuver that will eventually try to take us down a path that will lead to more closures of recreational fishing areas and additional fishery restrictions.
    To better understand PEW’s “If it swims, it’s overfished” modis operandi, please go to our web site at www.biggamefishingjournal.com and read Jim Hutchinson’s article “PEW This Stinks” which was published in the March/April 2010 issue of the Big Game Fishing Journal. It is a must read for any recreational fisherman or sport fishing industry executive who thinks working with PEW or the environmental groups they fund will never interfere with our right to fish.
    In 1998, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) received $200,000 from Pew Charitable Trusts; from 2004 through 2009, the CBD received another $230,000 or more from the Tides Foundation, themselves recipients of over $40 million in PEW funding since 1996 according to watchdog groups Center For Consumer Freedom and Center for Media & Democracy.
    The CBD recently petitioned NOAA Fisheries to list bluefin tuna under the Endangered Species Act. Please read our column, The Political Angler, in this issue to learn the absurd reason for this filing and the massive impact a bluefin tuna ESA listing could have on our recreational fishing. This is the latest anti-fishing maneuver by an organization funded by our new “best buds.”
    PEW worked hard to include rigid “overfishing” language in the reauthorization of the 2006 Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) and has been adamantly fighting against flexibility in the MSA. This lack of flexibility has been instrumental in the needless closures of black sea bass, red snapper, and some species of grouper recently. This inflexibility in the MSA is a powerful tool for the preservationist groups to restrict or close both commercial and recreational fishing access to many species.
    Simply put, if a fishery is closed or highly restricted to recreational and commercial fishermen, somewhere up the ladder of finance and regulation, it is most likely you will find the influence of the Pew Charitable Trusts. They are our greatest adversary, lets not help them accomplish their anti-fishing goals.

    Captain Len Belcaro