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ASA News is the monthly e-newsletter from the American Sportfishing Association. Please scroll down for the complete document. Use the links in the right hand navigation under the specific topic area to access additional information.

For more information contact Communications Director Mary Jane Williamson, (703) 519-9691, x227.


Government Affairs Update

  • New Efforts to Ban Lead Fishing Tackle Demonstrate Need for Legislative Solution
  • Congress Supports Legislation to Stop Unwarranted Fisheries Closures
  • Historic Measures Adopted to Curtail Harvest of Menhaden
  • NOAA Releases Much Anticipated Regional Saltwater Recreational Fishing Plans
  • Federal Lands Reauthorization Bill Introduced in the House of Representatives
  • ASA Member Recognized for Innovation in Reducing Bycatch Mortality
  • Australia Moves to Create World's Largest Marine Park

ICAST Update

  • Connect with ICAST on Linkedin
  • Check Out the Online ICAST Buyers' Guide
  • Mark Your Calendar for ICAST 2012 and 2013

Sportfishing Data and Statistics

  • Overall Fishing Tackle Imports Decline in 2011 Third Quarter
  • New Trade Data Available on ASA's Website

Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF)

  • TakeMeFishing.org Earns High Marks from Anglers and Boaters

New Efforts to Ban Lead Fishing Tackle Demonstrate Need for Legislative Solution
On November 16, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was petitioned by the Center for Biological Diversity and two other groups requesting that the agency regulate the manufacture and sale of lead fishing tackle of certain sizes and uses under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). If approved, such regulation could result in a de facto ban on lead sinkers, jigs and other popular types of fishing equipment. This comes on the heels of a similar petition that the EPA dismissed in November 2010. The original petition also sought to ban lead hunting and shooting ammunition, which is exempted from regulation under TSCA. Two of the petitioners are currently engaged in litigation over the EPA’s original decision, further demonstrating the need for a legislation solution. The Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Sports Protection Act (S. 838/H.R. 1558) will protect traditional fishing tackle and ammunition from unjustified bans that will harm the economy and reduce participation in outdoor activities. ASA encourages its members to contact their Members of Congress in support of this bipartisan legislation through ASA’s Legislative Action Center.

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Congress Supports Legislation to Stop Unwarranted Fisheries Closures
On November 29, Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the Fishery Science Improvement Act (FSIA), S.1916, which seeks to ensure that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) is required to set catch limits based on data, not on “guesstimates.” The bill mirrors legislation that was introduced in the House of Representatives in June (H.R.2304) and both bills have wide bipartisan support. ASA, as part of a coalition of sportfishing interests, played an active role in the introduction of this science-based legislation. ASA encourages all its members to contact their Members of Congress in support of the FSIA through ASA’s Legislative Action Center.

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Historic Measures Adopted to Curtail Harvest of Menhaden
During its November meeting, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted by an overwhelming margin to approve a new fishing target level for menhaden in an effort to increase its abundance and availability as a forage species for striped bass, bluefish, Atlantic tuna and other important saltwater species. This critical step to conserve menhaden could reduce harvest of this important, but declining, forage fish by up to 37 percent. Menhaden stocks have declined 88 percent over the last 25 years and are at their lowest abundance in recorded history. While the target selected by the commission was slightly lower than the level ASA recommended, this still represents a major step in managing menhaden for their role in the food chain, as opposed to simply as a reduction fishery.

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NOAA Releases Much Anticipated Regional Saltwater Recreational Fishing Plans
On December 6, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released the first regional saltwater recreational fishing action plans, which are designed to help improve fishing opportunities and address recreational fishing priorities in each of the nation’s six coastal regions. The plans are based on goals and objectives identified at the 2010 Saltwater Recreational Fishing Summit, and mark the first time NOAA has both national and regional strategies in place to address the priorities of the nation’s recreational fishing community. ASA applauds NOAA for the development of the plans, which represent significant advancements for the agency towards recognizing the important social and economic values that recreational fishing contributes to our nation. The projects included in the action plans, which are intended to improve science and stewardship and help build stronger partnerships between the agency and the saltwater angling community, are expected to be completed within the next two years. For more information, read NOAA’s press release or the regional saltwater angler action agendas.

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Federal Lands Reauthorization Bill Introduced in the House of Representatives
On November 4, Representatives Lummis (R-WY) and Heinrich (D-NM) introduced H.R. 3365, the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act Reauthorization of 2011 which will help federal agencies acquire tracts of private land for outdoor recreation, fish and wildlife conservation, and cultural and historic preservation in  eleven Western states and Alaska. The act expired on July 25, and all funding in the account is currently being transferred to the Treasury until it is reauthorized. This bill mirrors legislation that was introduced in the Senate in July (S. 714), but proposes a reauthorization period of only seven years instead of ten. For more information, contact Kelly Ingebritson, Western Federal Lands Associate for The Conservation Fund.

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ASA Member Recognized for Innovation in Reducing Bycatch Mortality
In November ASA member Carl Liederman of Capt. Harry’s Fishing Supply, was first runner up in NOAA’s biennial Smart Gear competition for his device the SeaQualizer, which is designed to reduce fish mortality in the recreational industry by quickly and safely returning deepwater fish to the depths at which they were caught. The awards are presented based on innovative, conservation-friendly ways to reduce fisheries bycatch. If adopted as a common release method, the SeaQualizer could have a significant positive effect on the management and populations of important recreational fish such as red snapper. For more information, read NOAA’s press release or the SeaQualizer factsheet.

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Australia Moves to Create World's Largest Marine Park
The Australian government has begun working on the creation of the world’s largest marine park. The park will cover almost one million square kilometers of the Coral Sea and will include ships sunk from the Battle of the Coral Sea that occurred during World War II. The western side of the reserve has taken into account recreational and charter fishing as a use. The government will finalize what limits will be imposed on the Coral Sea marine park within three months. For more information on this proposal, including maps and information on submitting comments, please visit the Australian government’s marine bioregional planning website.

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Connect with ICAST on Linkedin
ICAST now has a home on the social network Linkedin. You now have another way to stay connected with the latest news about the world largest sportfishing trade show and to network with colleagues in the fishing industry. The group will also be used to announce important ICAST dates and deadlines. You can join by visiting our Linkedin page. Please note, you must be a verifiable member of the sportfishing industry in order to join this Linkedin group.

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Check Out the ICAST Online Buyers' Guide
The ICAST Buyers’ Guide is the premier resource used to find information on ICAST exhibitors and their product lines throughout the year.

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Mark Your Calendar for ICAST 2012 and 2013
Please mark your calendars for ICAST 2012 and 2013. Also, you can check out the top five reasons to attend ICAST 2012 by visiting www.ICASTfishing.org. We look forward to seeing you there!

  • ICAST 2012 – July 11 – 13, 2012, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla.
  • ICAST 2013 – July 10 – 12, 2013, Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nev.

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Overall Fishing Tackle Imports Decline in 2011 Third Quarter
Tackle import values decreased slightly in the third quarter of 2011 from the same quarter in 2010 which includes artificial baits, leaders, all reels and reel parts and accessories. However, fishing nets, rods, line, hooks and snelled hooks did show increases. Overall, imports were down nearly 5 percent compared to the same quarter last year and were down slightly from last quarter. For details on imports by product category, visit the ASA website. For more information, contact Rob Southwick at (904) 277-9765.

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New Trade Data Available at ASA's Website
Each month, the latest in sportfishing industry statistics are posted online by the American Sportfishing Association. Learn the latest about tackle imports, fishing participation, sales of retail brands, online tackle sales and more. Click here to access the latest trade data available. For more information, contact Rob Southwick at (904) 277-9765.

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TakeMeFishing.org Earns High Marks from Anglers and Boaters
Visitors to the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s (RBFF) www.TakeMeFishing.org website continue to give the site high marks for satisfaction and overall experience, according to a recent survey. The annual online survey also reveals the site had a positive impact on visitors’ fishing and boating behaviors, influencing more than one-third of visitors to be more likely to go fishing in the next year. Learn more.

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