California has announced that it will begin the process of regulating lead fishing tackle.
The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) released the final draft of their three-year work plan, and it includes a review of lead used in fishing tackle.
Groups opposed to the move state that no objective research has been conducted to merit listing lead fishing tackle as one of the top seven threats to California's wildlife.
The California Sportfishing League (CSL) is opposed to DTSC's review of fishing tackle. CSL states that DTSC admits there has been no field work conducted by the regulatory agency concerning fishing tackle. State Health Code requires that DTSC prioritize chemicals of concern based on specific data requirements, quality and test methods.
"State regulators failed to comply with state law that requires them to conduct an independent analysis before including any product in this regulatory process. The inclusion of fishing tackle will likely harm recreational fishing and the jobs that depend on it," said David Dickerson, President of the California Sportfishing League. "It appears that politics, rather than science, was the basis for DTSC's decision. While there are many sources of pollution that pose a serious threat to California's ocean and streams, anglers are not among them."
CSL has begun an online petition to delist fishing tackle from DSTC's work plan.
In 2010, the U.S. EPA ruled that lead weights do not pose an unreasonable risk to wildlife. In December 2014, President Barack Obama signed a budget bill that prohibits the use of federal dollars to ban lead fishing weights.