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Obama’s coastal zoning proposal raises concerns

The Obama Administration has proposed using expanding zoning to coastal and even some inland waters, which has raised concerns among fishermen that their favorite fishing holes could soon be off limits.

Many weekend anglers fear that the Obama administration's promise to "fundamentally change" water management in the U.S. will erode what they call the public's "right to fish," in turn creating economic losses for the $82 billion recreational fishing industry, according to a report by the Christian Science Monitor.

Proponents say the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force established by President Obama last June will ultimately benefit the fishing public by managing ecosystems in their entirety rather than by individual uses such as fishing, shipping or oil exploration.

"It's not an environmentalist manifesto," Larry Crowder, a marine biologist at Duke University, told the Monitor. "Its multiple-use planning for the environment and making sure various uses ... are sustainable."

The final report of the task force looking into the issue is expected in late March. Congress will decide its fate, unless Obama issues an executive order on the matter.

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