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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.

2013 Sportfishing Summit

  • 2013 Sportfishing Summit Overview
  • ASA Committee, Board of Directors and General Membership Meetings

Sportfishing Industry Data

  • Fishing Tackle Excise Taxes Yield Amazing ROI
  • First Quarter 2013 Fishing Participation Numbers
  • Second Quarter Fishing Tackle Imports Show Increase

Fisheries Policy Updates

  • House Hearing on Magnuson-Stevens Act Reauthorization
  • New Red Snapper Legislation Introduced in the House
  • Pebble Mine Partner Pulls Out of Deal
  • Court Dismisses Gillnetters Case on the Columbia River
  • Ten-Year Fisheries Rebuilding Timeline Should Be Revised
  • House Committee Passes Water Resources Reform Bill
  • Federal Hatchery Closures Put On Hold Before Federal Shutdown

ICAST 2014

  • Check Out the ICAST 2013 Show Highlights

2013 Sportfishing Summit Overview

The American Sportfishing Association's 2013 Sportfishing Summit, the sportfishing industry's premier networking and business management event, is being held October 16-18, at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa located just outside Fort Myers, Fla. This annual fall event underscores our desire to bring together American Sportfishing Association (ASA) members with other sportfishing community members to provide everyone with a productive meeting that is timely, useful and a good business investment. We have a full agenda planned beginning with the Advocacy Committee meeting and the Board of Directors meeting on Tuesday, October 15, and ending with the association's General Membership meeting on Friday morning, October 18. All the details about the Summit can be found on ASA’s website – www.ASAfishing.org.

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ASA Committee, Board of Directors and General Membership Meetings

During the 2013 Sportfishing Summit, the ASA Board of Directors will meet on Tuesday, October 15, from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. They will also meet on Friday, October 18, from 7:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. The association's committees will meet on Wednesday, October 16 and Thursday, October 17, in the mornings. The Government Affairs, Membership, Consumer Shows and Communications committees meet in Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. – Noon. The Government Affairs, Trade Show, Data and Statistics and Finance committees meet on Thursday from 9:00 a.m. – Noon. The Advocacy committee meets on Tuesday, October 15 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The General Membership Meeting will take place on Friday, October 18, from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

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Fishing Tackle Excise Taxes Yield an Amazing 2,000 Percent ROI

What if your business or organization had a 2,000 percent return on investment? Such returns are a reality in the sportfishing industry, courtesy of the Sport Fish Restoration program. Thanks to this program, sportfishing excise taxes (10 -11 percent on tackle) have generated an amazing 2,157 percent annual return on the monies invested in fisheries and conservation. The excise tax dollars are allocated to state fish and wildlife agencies through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program. These receipts are then matched by other funds including license fees paid by sportsmen and women and private dollars. State agencies use the funds to enhance fisheries and public access to fishing opportunities. One-time investments by state agencies often pay dividends for decades. A copy of the report “The Benefits to Business from Hunting and Fishing Excise Taxes,” is available on the ASA website under Facts & Figures – Studies and Surveys. For more information, contact Rob Southwick, (904) 277-9765.

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2013 First Half Fishing Participation Down Slightly from 2012

Noted in the license sales index produced cooperatively by ASA and the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF), license sales from January through June 2013 decreased an estimated 3.4 percent compared to the same months in 2012. However, sales were up in the critical sales months of May and June. The numbers are as follows: April – down 7.3 percent; May – up 4.7 percent; and June – up 8.3 percent. This is most likely due to a rebound from the cool, wet, unfavorable weather in the Southeast, Midwest and other areas in 2013 compared to ideal conditions during early 2012. It’s possible that many license buyers likely shifted their purchases from the first quarter to the latter part of the second as a result of less fishing opportunities in the first part of the year. Of the thirteen states included in this report, nine showed license sales decreases for the first half of 2013. The largest drops were in the Midwest and Northeast. For more information, contact Rob Southwick, (904) 277-9765.

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Fishing Tackle Imports Increase in the Second Quarter of 2013 vs. 2012

Tackle import values increased in the second quarter of 2013 from the same quarter in 2012. Hooks, fishing nets, reels, fishing rods, fishing rod parts and accessories and snelled hooks showed increases compared to the same quarter last year. Artificial baits, fishing line put up and packaged, fishing or fly fishing leaders and fishing reel parts and accessories decreased compared to the same quarter last year. Overall, imports were up 7.2 percent compared to the same quarter last year but down 4.5 percent from last quarter. For details on imports by product category, visit the Member Resource Center on the ASA website. The information can be found under Facts and Figures on the left hand navigation. For more information, contact Rob Southwick, (904) 277-9765.

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House Hearing on Magnuson-Stevens Act Reauthorization

On September 11, the House Committee on Natural Resources held its fourth oversight hearing during this Congress on the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act, the primary law governing federal fisheries management. The hearing examined potential reforms needed to make sure the law benefits both the fisheries and anglers. Many priorities shared by ASA were identified during the hearing, including improving predictability of fisheries regulations and incorporating socioeconomic impacts into decision-making.

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New Red Snapper Legislation Introduced in the House

On September 12, Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) and Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) introduced the Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Conservation Act, H.R. 3099, which would transfer authority for Gulf red snapper management to the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission. Similar to a bill in the Senate, S. 1161, the Act will establish a coordinated Gulf states partnership for red snapper management. In a sign of broad bipartisan support for the concept of state-based fish and wildlife resources management, the entire leadership of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus has signed on to the bill.

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Pebble Mine Partner Pulls Out of Deal

On September 16, the Anglo American PLC pulled out of its 50-50 partnership with Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., removing itself from backing the Pebble Mine project in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The company had already invested over $500 million into the project. The dissolution of the partnership comes after the EPA received over 895,000 comments regarding the mine, 73 percent of which were against the mine. Ninety-eight percent of Bristol Bay residents were against the mine and 84 percent of all Alaskans were also against the mine. For more information, please visit KeepAmericaFishing.org.

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Court Dismisses Gillnetters Case on the Columbia River

On August 23, the Washington state’s Thurston County Superior Court dismissed a lawsuit brought by commercial gillnetters challenging the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission’s policy to phase out gillnets along the Columbia River. In January 2013 the citizens of Washington and Oregon voted to phase gillnets out of the mainstream of the Columbia River and into the bay and slough areas over a four-year time frame. The commercial interests have thirty days to appeal this decision. In May 2012 ASA took a position in favor of the ban and as such staff will continue to monitor the situation.

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Ten-Year Fisheries Rebuilding Timeline Should Be Revised

On September 5, the National Academy of Science released the report “Evaluating the Effectiveness of Fish Stock Rebuilding Plans in the United States,” which concludes that the requirement in the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act to rebuild depleted fish stocks within a 10-year timeline should be revised. Instead of having a fixed deadline for stocks to be rebuilt, the report recommends that managers set lower harvest rates that would allow fish stocks to recover gradually while causing less severe socioeconomic impacts.

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House Committee Passes Water Resources Reform Bill

On September 19, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee marked up and passed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013, H.R. 3080. The House was supposed to take up the issue during the first week of October. While the bill is similar to the Senate version, S. 601, in that it includes a version of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Act, it does not include the Asian Carp legislation which required a multi-agency effort to study and slow the spread of Asian carp.

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Federal Hatchery Closures Put on Hold Before Shutdown

On September 18, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell halted the previously scheduled nationwide federal hatchery closures as well as the release of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s hatchery review report. Several members of Congress reached out to the Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as Secretary Jewell, expressing strong opposition to the closures. ASA staff will continue to monitor this situation.

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Check Out the ICAST 2013 Show Highlights

See The 56th International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST, hosted approximately 9,000 representatives from the global fishing industry from July 9 – 12, at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev. Thousands of buyers and more than 600 media representatives came to check out the gear, accessories and apparel on display. Check out all of the highlights of ICAST 2013 including the New Product Showcase “Best of Show” winners and dozens of photos showing the show floor and special events.

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Mark Your Calendar for ICAST 2014 and 2015

Please mark your calendars for ICAST 2014 and 2015. As of August 2013, ASA’s board of directors had not made a decision about ICAST 2016 and beyond.
ICAST 2014 – July 15-18, 2014: Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla.
ICAST 2015 – July 14-17, 2015: Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla.

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