Recreational fishing is one of this country’s most favorite pastimes. Each year, 46 million Americans, alone or with friends and family, spend time on the water fishing and, often, boating. However after years of steady growth, recreational fishing participation rates have leveled off. Some states have even experienced declines in participation.
Since its founding in 1933, the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) has represented the interests of the entire sportfishing community to help ensure that we have clean water, abundant fish and plenty of places to go fishing.
ASA is the parent organization of Keep America Fishing®. In July 2010 ASA launched Keep America Fishing® as a way for anglers to get involved in advocating for their sport.
The website – www.KeepAmericaFishing.org – is the vehicle through which anglers can engage in advocacy, sign up to receive news and alerts and show their support for recreational fishing and boating.
To ensure the future of our sport, we need to be represented at every table where decisions are made about the future of recreational fishing. ASA’s members and staff are passionate about maintaining healthy fisheries and anglers’ right to sustainably fish on our nation’s public waterways.
In 2015, ASA launched Keep Florida Fishing®, our first state-based Government Relations and coalition building effort, to help ensure that Florida remains the number one fishing state in the U.S.
The FishAmerica Foundation is ASA’s conservation and research foundation, helping to keep our nation’s fish and waters healthy. FishAmerica provides grants to non-profits, conservation minded groups to enhance fish populations, restore fisheries habitat, improve water quality and advance fisheries research to improve sportfishing opportunities and success.
These grants empower local communities and leverage volunteer support to invest in the future of fishing. These grants are an important part of the broader nationwide efforts to conserve the outdoors and ensure millions of Americans and future generations can enjoy fishing.
In the mid-1990s the sportfishing industry, with the American Sportfishing Association’s leadership, agreed that using a portion of the federal manufacturers’ excise tax on fishing tackle to create a dedicated funding source to increase participation in fishing and boating was a good move for our industry.
In 1998, the U.S. Congress passed the Sportfishing and Boating Safety Act. The Act required the Secretary of the Interior to implement a national outreach and communication plan to address participation issues associated with recreational fishing and boating, while ensuring public support for aquatic resource conservation.
Through the efforts of the Sportfishing and Boating Partnership Council (SFBPC), the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) was created as an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to implement a national campaign to get more people fishing and boating – www.takemefishing.org and www.vamosapescar.org.