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ASA Meets with Florida Commissioners on Key Recreational Fishing Issues

This month, ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman and ASA Board of Directors Chairman Kirk Immens met with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) during their scheduled meeting.

They discussed efforts to increase angler participation and highlighted angler contributions toward conservation and the economy at the state and federal levels. Keep Florida Fishing Director Gary Jennings updated the commissioners on ASA’s views on Everglades restoration legislation, Gulf red snapper management and the proposed ban of lead fishing tackle on federal lands.

For Mike Nussman’s remarks, please go here to the 1:38:00 mark.

For Kirk Immens’ remarks, please go here to the 1:44:00 mark.

For Gary Jennings’ remarks, please go here to the 26:08 mark


Kellie Ralston, Florida Fishery Policy Director with Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)

Kellie Ralston, Florida Fishery Policy Director with Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)

Kellie Ralston, Florida Fishery Policy Director with Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)

Kellie Ralston, Florida Fishery Policy Director with Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)

ASA Tours Everglades with Sens. Nelson and Thune

Kellie Ralston, ASA’s Florida Fishery Policy Director, recently accompanied Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) ranking member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the committee, on a tour of the Everglades to highlight the importance of federal support for its restoration.

Prior to the tour, Ralston met with Sens. Nelson and Thune and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissioner Ron Bergeron to discuss the ongoing need for Everglades restoration projects and its importance to Florida’s $9.6 billion sportfishing industry. Securing federal funding for ongoing and authorized restoration projects during the 115th Congress is a top priority for ASA.


Longliners Seek Permit to Fish Conservation Area

Conservation areas off of Florida, where no industrial longline harvest operations are permitted, have had a significant impact on bringing swordfish and billfish populations back to healthy levels.

Longliners are now seeking Exempted Fishing Permits (EFPs) to begin these commercial harvest practices again in Florida’s East Coast Fishery. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is currently considering these EFPs.

ASA recently joined with other sportfishing industry groups in sending a letter to NMFS about the serious negative implications for swordfish populations if longline production in this region is begun again.