You think it can’t happen to us? The following are a few of the highlights from a media release from the American Sportfishing Association (ASA).
In 2013, Maine’s legislature considered two bills: one to ban soft baits and another to mandate degradable hooks for recreational fishing in Maine. After a hearing and thousands of comments in opposition to the bills, the legislature directed the Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, “…to study effects of artificial fishing lures made of rubber and soft plastic and non-biodegradable hooks for fishing.”
From a scientific point-of-view, overall the report indicated a low rate of soft baits found in the digestive system of fish surveyed between 1985 and 2013, ranging from a low of 0,4 percent to a high of 5.2 percent of fish sampled.
Recommendations included enhancing its angler education programs by involving anglers organizations and the sportfishing industry. These enhancements are intended to minimize the loss and improve the proper disposal of soft baits in state waters by anglers.