Recently we touted some of our top victories from 2022. Looking ahead to 2023, our policy priorities will continue our work on longstanding challenges, as well as several new initiatives. However, ASA’s government affairs program will continue to be a voice of influence for sensible fisheries policy, a leader in conservation and a catalyst for growth in trade and commerce.

From legislation we support, or would like to see Congress introduce, to regulatory measures taken by federal agencies and local matters that are handled at the state level, we look forward to undertaking the following policy goals in 2023.

In 2023, we hope to accomplish the following:

National Goals

  • Work with members of Congress on the reintroduction of the Youth Coastal Fishing Program Act, which would create a grant program administered by NOAA for organizations that take youth on fishing excursions offshore and in the Great Lakes.
  • Collaborate with legislators and federal regulators on measures that address excise tax avoidance from foreign manufacturers selling directly to American consumers through third-party internet marketplaces.
  • Urge Congress to reintroduce federal legislation that expands access to outdoor recreation and improves conservation efforts nationwide, such as the Outdoor Recreation Act and Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA).
  • Implement recommendations to mitigate the spread of invasive species developed by the AIS Blue Ribbon Commission, composed of ASA and other like-minded organizations.

Atlantic Goals

  • Continue working with coalition partners, state agencies and NOAA on recreational management reform in the Mid-Atlantic.
  • Develop an alternative proposal alongside NOAA Fisheries to their speed vessel rule, which creates a speed limit for all boats 35 feet or longer off the Atlantic coast to 10 knots.

Southeast Goals

  • Work with NOAA towards ensuring that recreational anglers in the Gulf of Mexico and the south Atlantic have reasonable red snapper seasons in 2023.
  • Build from last year’s momentum of protecting the Everglades by supporting increases in conservation funding for the wetlands at the federal and state level.
  • Collaborate with our partners throughout the Atlantic on opposition to the NOAA Fisheries speed vessel rule proposal, ensuring that anglers throughout Florida and the southern Atlantic states can still go on fishing excursions at sea.

Inland Goals

  • Advocate for fisheries and aquatic habitat through the Conservation Title of the 2023 Farm Bill.
  • Defend and expand sportfishing access at the state level to revitalize access points and protect the use of traditional tackle.
  • Support the introduction and passage of the MAPWaterways Act in Congress, which will improve mapping data accessibility on federal waterways.

Pacific Goals

  • Continue our work with the California National Resource Agency on the state’s 30 by 30 policy to ensure that recreational fishing interests are being addressed and that the implementation of the policy does not hinder access to public lands and waters.
  • Establish fishing and hunting coalitions with other trade organizations and outdoor recreation organizations in Washington and Oregon to address concerns relating to our industry.
  • Work alongside state managers in Washington on the “North of Falcon” management process, which sets season dates and catch restrictions for recreational salmon fishing.

As 2023 unfolds, we expect our issues and positions to develop. Stay tuned to our social media channels and blog posts for information on future issues and don’t forget to check out our Action Center for issues you can weigh in on and let Congress and federal regulators hear your voice.

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AUTHOR

John Chambers