November 2007

Also Of Interest To Arizona Anglers

Survey Shows That Californians Support Recreational Fishing

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) along with its California partners have united to ensure that people who fish and boat have a voice in the ongoing process of designating no-fishing zones off California’s coastline under California’s Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative process.

As part of that process, a statewide survey, sponsored by ASA, was conducted by California-based Field Research Corporation. The overall objective of the survey was to examine public opinion about threats to ocean marine life and fish populations along the California coast and the implementation of the state’s MLPA.

The results of this public opinion research show that the public and angler communities are aligned in their belief that the health of California’s ocean environment can and should be protected without unnecessary closures of California coastal waters to recreational fishing.

Sewage dumped into ocean waters and land-based pollutants that drain into ocean waters are seen as being the most serious potential threats to the ocean and marine life along the California coast, with greater than seven in 10 considering them very serious.

By contrast, only 9 percent of Californians feel recreational fishermen pose a very serious threat to ocean and marine life along California’s coast. This percentage is consistent with other surveys conducted regarding recreational fishing.

ASA Vice President Gordon Robertson said, “The sportfishing industry has always advocated for healthy fisheries. Regarding California, ASA and its partners agree that ensuring healthy, abundant, sustainable fish populations and habitat based on the principles of sound science, when combined with transparency and due process in public proceedings, are the most important elements of a workable ocean resource conservation plan.”

 Robertson further said, “Recreational anglers are stewards of the environment and are often on the front line of ocean protection as first responders — serving as an early warning system to alert environmental protection agencies about potential environmental damage.”

ASA’s partners are the National Marine Manufacturers Association, Coastside Fishing Club, Sportfishing Association of California, Southern California Marine Association and United Anglers of Southern California.

Additional Survey Findings

There is a clear public consensus (90 percent agreement) that “any ban that is placed on recreational fishing in California’s coastal waters should include a provision which requires that bans be re-assessed at some point in the future.” Large majorities also concur with a number of other statements relating to bans on recreational fishing.

These include —

  • Any ban that is placed on recreational fishing in California’s coastal waters should only be imposed as a last resort where marine life and fish populations are clearly in danger (73 percent agreement).
  • Recreational fishing is one of the state’s most popular individual and family activities and banning it in some of the state’s best coastal fishing areas will undermine its popularity (66 percent agreement).
  • Banning or severely restricting recreational fishing from some of the state’s best coastal fishing areas will damage the economies of communities along the California coast (65 percent agreement).
  • Recreational fishing has little impact on coastal fish populations, so banning it is not an effective way to protect the marine life and fish populations (61 percent agreement).

To download a copy of the survey results, and to sign up for information updates regarding the ongoing California MLPA Initiative, visit

Additional Contacts

Mark DiCamillo, senior vice president, Field Research Corporation, (415) 392-5763, fax (415) 434-2541, e-mail

Daniel Kramer or Susan Bitar, partnership spokespersons, (916) 932-7370, fax (916) 932-7371, e-mail and

Notes From ASA

The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association, committed to looking out for the interests of the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry a unified voice, speaking out on behalf of sportfishing and boating industries, state and federal natural resource agencies, conservation organizations, angler advocacy groups and outdoor journalists when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. We invest in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous as well as safeguard and promote the enduring social, economic and conservation values of sportfishing in America.

Field Research Corporation, based in San Francisco, Calif., is one of the oldest and most respected public opinion research organizations in the Western United States. The company regularly conducts surveys both in California and nationwide for a wide variety of clients in the public and private sectors. Its non-partisan, media-sponsored public opinion news service, The Field Poll, which has operated continuously since 1947, is considered one of the nation’s pre-eminent state polls.