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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.

IMPORTANT TAKE ACTION ITEMS

  • NOAA Fisheries Needs to Hear From You By September 12
  • Take Advantage of the Early Bird 2014 Summit Meeting Registration
  • Make Your Housing Reservations at the Hotel Contessa

2014 Sportfishing Summit

  • This Will Be an Outstanding Summit
  • Do I Need to Be a Board or Committee Member to Attend?
  • New Registration Option Available in 2014
  • Thank You 2014 Sportfishing Summit Sponsors
  • The Summit Features Two Outstanding Keynote Speakers

Recreational Fishing and Conservation Policy Updates

  • The Government Affairs Team is Working for You: What That Means
  • Red Snapper Amendment Could Spell Sector Separation
  • Plan for Red Snapper Smells Fishy – An Editorial by Dr. Larry McKinney
  • Proposed Pacific Monuments Expansion Threatens Recreational Fishing
  • Extension for Essential Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund
  • NOAA Proposes Longline Restrictions for Bluefin Tuna
  • Action Needed On Puget Sound Hatchery

ICAST 2014 Updates

  • See All the ICAST 2014 Show Highlights

New Recreational Fishing Data

  • RBFF Releases New Report on Recreational Fishing

NOAA Fisheries Needs to Hear From You by September 12

As a sportfishing community member, we are asking for your input regarding the future of saltwater recreational fishing. NOAA Fisheries recently announced its plans to establish an agency-wide saltwater recreational fisheries policy, and is calling on industry members and anglers to help shape this landmark policy that will set a foundation for how NOAA Fisheries will manage marine fisheries with recreational fishing in mind. For decades, many in the recreational fishing community have been critical of NOAA Fisheries for primarily focusing on commercial fisheries to the detriment of the nation’s 11 million saltwater anglers. Recognizing that its inattention has contributed to significant management problems, NOAA Fisheries leadership has committed to establish a national saltwater recreational fisheries policy to guide agency actions and decisions that affect recreational fishing. NOAA is accepting public input online until Friday, September 12, at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/management/recreational/policy/comment_online.html.

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Take Advantage of the Early Bird 2014 Summit Meeting Registration

Please take advantage of the pre-registration and room block rates and reserve your spot now for the annual business meeting. After September 19, on-site rates apply. Your Summit registration form may be faxed, mailed or emailed to ASA. Please see the instructions on the registration form. The Sportfishing Summit housing and pre-registration deadlines are Friday, September 19, 2014. For more information about Summit registration, please contact Membership Director Jill Calabria, x234.

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Make Your Housing Reservations at the Hotel Contessa

Please make your reservations directly with the Hotel Contessa. The amenity fee is waived for Summit attendees. Two room options are available: A City View Room is $149 plus tax; a River View Room is $169 plus tax. Rates are guaranteed until Friday, September 19, 2014. Housing requests received after the deadline will be assigned based upon room and rate availability. You may extend your Summit room rate for check-out on Sunday, October 19, if you would like to stay and take advantage of all that San Antonio has to offer.
Making Reservation By Phone – Call the reservations line at 866-435-0900 and request the group rate for the ASA/Sportfishing Summit.
Making Online Reservations – Use the ASA/Summit online registration link for the Hotel Contessa, which can be found on the ASA website at www.ASAfishing.org/summit2014.

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This is Will Be an Outstanding Sportfishing Summit!

The countdown to the American Sportfishing Association’s annual business meeting is underway and we have an outstanding agenda planned for this year’s meeting being held October 15-17, at the Hotel Contessa in San Antonio, Texas. Check out the Summit agenda on the ASA website. This is one Sportfishing Summit YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS! All Summit attendees – and only Summit attendees – will receive a hard copy of Southwick Associates’ updated Trade Insights and Market Report! For all the 2014 Sportfishing Summit information, go to www.ASAfishing.org/summit2014.

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Do I Need to be a Board or Committee Member to Attend?

The Sportfishing Summit is open to the sportfishing community and is the only venue where people representing the entire sportfishing community come together to discuss a wide range of issues and events that effect sportfishing’s future. The Summit is a great investment of your time and dollars.

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New Registration Option Available in 2014

We are offering discounted registration fees for multiple people from the same company or organization. The discounted fee is $100 less than the first, pre-registration fee. The Sportfishing Summit housing and pre-registration deadlines are Friday, September 19, 2014.

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Thank you 2014 Sportfishing Summit Sponsors

The American Sportfishing Association thanks the following companies and agencies for their generous support of the 2014 Sportfishing Summit: PremiumNOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service; Pure Fishing, Inc.; U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceSilverBass Pro Shops; Cabela’s; Outdoorguide.com Group; Take Me Fishing™; BronzeAssociation of Fish and Wildlife Agencies; Deloitte Tax LLP; FIA Insurance Services, Inc.; Southwick Associates, Inc.; USDA – Forest Service and World Fishing Network.

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The Summit Features Two Outstanding Keynote Speakers

As usual, we have a full agenda planned. On Wednesday, we’ll focus on how politics, policies and data impact our industry and your business. Charlie Cook, probably the most trusted voice of American politics, will kick off the general sessions with a look at the current political landscape and the November elections. On Thursday, the theme is “future forward.” Jack Uldrich, global futurist, kicks off the afternoon with a look at the trends that are transforming business with an emphasis on recreational fishing. We also have two panels of industry leaders who will look at trends impacting outdoor recreation and what their companies are doing to entice buyers in the future.

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The Government Affairs Team is Working for You: What That Means

There is a lot more going on behind the scenes of ASA’s Government Affairs and KeepAmericaFishing than most people know. We’ve broken down the top five most important things Government Affairs does to keep your voice active in Washington D.C. and state capitols around the country. Sharing this information with your business networks will help us have a stronger voice in Congress. Share today!

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Red Snapper Amendment Could Spell Sector Separation

Over the past several weeks, sportsmen and women turned out in droves at listening sessions to voice their opposition to Amendment 40, or “sector separation.” The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is proposing to divide the recreational fishing community’s share of the red snapper fishery between private recreation anglers and charter-for-hire/head boat owners, stoking controversy and division among stakeholders. Even though the Gulf red snapper population is healthier than it has been in decades, federal fisheries managers continue to reduce recreational fishing seasons, resulting in an all-time low of just 9 days this summer. This management approach, if adopted, would effectively eliminate the red snapper recreational season in federal waters for the individual angler. The final determination will be made at the Council’s October meeting which is taking place after the Summit. ASA urges Gulf anglers to attend that meeting and speak out against sector separation. In the meantime, you can send in comments electronically through KeepAmericaFishing.

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Plan for Red Snapper Smells Fishy – An Editorial by Dr. Larry McKinney, Summit Speaker

Larry McKinney, Ph.D., executive director for the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, has written a very well-received editorial about the Gulf of Mexico red snapper issue that was published by the Houston Chronicle, Houston, Texas on September 8. Dr. McKinney is one of our Thursday afternoon panelists during the upcoming Sportfishing Summit. Click here to read his assessment of the Gulf red snapper issue.

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Proposed Pacific Monuments Expansion Threatens Recreational Fishing

President Obama has proposed to greatly expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the south-central Pacific Ocean. At 782,000 square miles, this would become the world’s large marine protected area. If recreational fishing is banned in this area, the President would be sending the message that at any time, without any Congressional oversight, formal process, or sound scientific justification, he and future Presidents can restrict access to public waters entirely through executive powers. ASA, along with other leading recreational fishing and boating organizations, recently sent a letter  specifically requesting that recreational fishing be allowed in the expanded areas, as is now the case in the existing monument areas.

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Extension for Essential Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund

Just before the August recess, the Senate approved an $11 billion continuation through May 2015 for the Federal Highway Trust Fund, which includes reauthorization of the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund (SFRBTF). The Angling and Boating Alliance, a coalition of recreational fishing and boating groups, including ASA, has drafted its position on SFRBTF appropriations in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is working to gain support in the Senate when the bill is revisited this fall or in 2015. The Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund is funded by the excise tax on fishing equipment and the portion of the federal fuel tax attributable to motor boat and small engine use. The monies go to the states for fish restoration programs, angler and boating access and state boating safety programs.

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NOAA Proposes Longline Restrictions for Bluefin Tuna

NOAA has released the final environmental impact assessment for Amendment 7 of its Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan. The revised Plan restricts commercial surface longline fishing in certain areas of the Gulf of Mexico and off Cape Hatteras, N.C., where bluefin gather in great numbers to spawn and feed. The amendment also establishes a new annual limit on the incidental catch of bluefin on surface longlines and 100 percent electronic monitoring of the surface longline fleet. Despite these management improvements, ASA remains concerned over a proposed reallocation that would shift quota away from the angling sector. For complete details, please view the Plan at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/documents/fmp/am7/index.html.

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Action Needed on Puget Sound Hatchery

In July, a settlement hearing regarding the fate of the Puget Sound Hatchery was held by the Washington State Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife recently settled with the Wild Fish Conservancy regarding the release of hatchery fish. The department will not release early winter hatchery steelhead until the National Marine Fisheries Service reviews the program. At the hearing, the angling community came out in force to express concerns with NOAA’s decision to delay the hatchery genetic management plans (HGMPs), which are mandated by the EPA and requisite for the hatchery to release trout into the wild areas of need. NOAA plans to hasten its review of HGMPs to move the process forward.

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See All the ICAST 2014 Show Highlights

From photo galleries to the New Product Showcase Best of Show winners, it’s all archived and available for viewing on the ASA website under Shows and Events – ICAST 2014. If you wish to share a photo with your colleagues, go to the Photo Galley. Click on the photo you like which will then jump you to our > back to top

RBFF Releases Special Report on Fishing

The lure of recreational fishing remains strong, according to the 2014 Special Report on Fishing, recently released by RBFF and the Outdoor Foundation. According to the report, there were 4.1 million newcomers to fishing in 2013, an increase from the 3.5 million average new anglers per year between 2007 and 2012. Additionally, women, children and Hispanics showed increases in participation. The report is making waves in the news, being covered by USA Today, The Dallas Morning News, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and more. The full study is available online at TakeMeFishing.org/Corporate.

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