Testimony in Support of LD 646


Dear Senator Dutremble, Representative Shaw and members of the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee: My name is Beth Ahearn, Political Director of Maine Conservation Voters (MCV). MCV’s mission is to make protection of Maine’s environment a political priority; and consistent with our mission, I am writing in support of LD 730, “An Act to Protect Maine’s Loons by Banning Lead Sinkers and Jigs”. 

MCV supports LD 730 for the following three reasons:

  1. Lead sinkers up to one ounce and lead jigs up to 2 ½ inches are killing Maine loons. They are the number one cause of loon fatalities, comprising 28 percent of the deaths of all recovered adult loon carcasses.[1]
  2. This is an easy problem to solve. Alternatives to this lead tackle are available and affordable. Dick’s Sporting Goods, for example, sells non-lead, non-toxic tackle of this size that is made in the US for the same price as the lead tackle.
  3. The tackle targeted by this bill is the specific kind of tackle that is known to be killing loons. It does not include large sinkers or jigs, and it doesn’t include the large range of lures that have internal lead weights.

MCV supports a phase-in of these regulations, should you pass them, to allow anglers and the market to adjust to the change.

In summary, it is time to get the lead out of tackle that is lethal to loons. Please vote to unanimously pass LD 730.

Sincerely,

Beth Ahearn



[1] Maine Audubon Society: http://maineaudubon.org/blog/2013/03/5231/