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Obama officials: ocean policy is not a fishing ban

The Obama Administration is trying to quell rumors that it planned to ban recreational fishing in marine waters and the Great Lakes in the wake of media reports such actions were imminent.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief Jane Lubchenco told a House panel this week that her agency had no plans to halt fishing, according to an article in The New York Times.

National Marine Fisheries Service chief Eric Schwaab also released a statement saying NOAA "is committed to adopting policies that will ensure that current and future generations have the opportunity to enjoy the great tradition of recreational fishing."

The administration is drafting plans for a new ocean policy and marine zoning system. The recommendations from the interagency ocean task force are expected this month and would likely lead to an executive order from President Obama on ocean policy.

The plan could eventually lead to efforts to map the sea for different uses, but draft reports from the group made no suggestions to ban fishing.

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