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.
- Sportsmen’s Act Stalled in the U.S. Senate
- ICAST and IFTD 2013 Co-Location
- Connect with ICAST on Linkedin
- AAA Speaks Out Against E15 in Gasoline
- Fishery Disaster Declared for New Jersey and New York
- Florida FWCC Proposes Sport and Game Fish Designations
- BP Pleads Guilty and is Ordered to Pay $4.5 billion
- ASA Comments on Atlantic Menhaden Management
- 2012 Fishing Participation Continues to Outpace 2011
On November 26, in a surprise upset, the U.S. Senate failed to advance the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 (S. 3525) due to a procedural motion. The bill ran into trouble when a point of order was raised about whether the bill violated a 2011 budget agreement and a motion to waive the point of order failed by 10 votes. Six senators were not present and the vote on the procedural motion to waive the point of order fell mostly along party lines. Senators Tester (D-Mont.) and Sessions (R-Ala.), and a coalition of supporting groups, worked hard to resolve the budget point of order only to have Senator Boxer (D-Calif.) demand inclusion of a sweeping federal study describing “all Federal authorities that can help to eliminate or reduce threats to public health and the environment from lead and other chemical substances or mixtures that are used in ammunition and fishing tackle [emphasis added].” Boxer’s language further requested “actions to enhance the use of the authorities.” The bill may yet again come to the Senate floor for a vote but this poison pill language makes it doubtful that the bill will pass. To see how your Senator voted on the point of order motion, please visit the voting results. The ASA staff has been working hard, speaking with Congressional members regarding the passage of S. 3525. For more information, contact Policy Fellow Libby Yranski, x244.
ICAST and IFTD 2013 Co-Location
Co-locating ICAST and IFTD in the Las Vegas Convention Center from July 9 – 12, creates the world’s largest sportfishing trade show and that is very attractive business opportunity for a lot of people from manufacturers to buyers to media. The partnership between the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA) received unanimous support from both the ASA and AFFTA boards of directors and has overwhelming support from their respective memberships. In addition, combining the two shows has generated much positive media attention and discussion among the fishing industry. Co-locating will increase overall attendance for both shows and will expand business opportunities for manufacturers, buyers and media. Both ASA and AFFTA understand that this is a business relationship, but one that is expected to further help to bridge the gap between fly fishing and conventional markets. For more information, contact Trade Show Director Kenneth Andres, x231.
Connect with ICAST on Linkedin
You now have another way to stay connected with the latest news about the world largest sportfishing trade show and network with colleagues in the fishing industry: Linkedin. 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.
AAA Speaks Out Against E15 in Gasoline
On November 30, motorist advocacy group AAA joined the growing list of groups, including ASA, who have opposed the ethanol blend E15 in gasoline. AAA is concerned for the potential engine damage that E15 can cause, and has asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop the sale of E15 at gas pumps until better labeling systems has been devised. AAA would also like a consumer education effort created regarding the potential engine dangers when using this blend. E15 can cause harm to older-model engines, and at this time certain automakers will not cover claims caused by E15. ASA opposes the introduction of E15 into the marketplace before a thorough review has been completed deeming it safe for all engine types, as it can cause serious damage to smaller engines which are only designed to run on not more than a 10 percent ethanol blend.
Fishery Disaster Declared for New Jersey and New York
As a result of the significant damage caused by Hurricane Sandy to the recreational and commercial fishing communities, on November 16, Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank announced the determination of a fishery resource disaster for New Jersey and New York. The declaration allows Congress to appropriate federal relief funds for assistance to alleviate harm resulting from a natural disaster. ASA stands ready to work with Congress to ensure that funds are appropriated to the region to aid recreational fishing-dependent businesses and associated infrastructure in recovering from Hurricane Sandy. ASA has requested that NOAA Fisheries initiate an emergency assessment of the storm’s damages to fishing-related facilities and businesses to aid in the appropriation of recovery funds. For more information, contact Ocean Resource Policy Director Mike Leonard, x230.
Florida FWCC Proposes Sport and Game Fish Designations
On December 5, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC) approved a draft rule to create official saltwater game fish and sport fish designations. If the final rule is approved it would mean certain species, to be determined at a later time, would be catch-and-release only, and commercial harvest would also be prohibited. Florida does not currently have official saltwater game fish or sport fish designations, which, if enacted, could help highlight and conserve some of Florida's premier recreational fish and encouraging anglers to adopt voluntary conservation practices such as catch-and-release. Finalization of these proposals will occur at the FWC’s February meetings. Until then public comments can be sent to Marine@myfwc.com. For more information, read the FWCC news release.
BP Pleads Guilty and is Ordered to Pay $4.5 billion
On November 15, BP pleaded guilty to 14 felony counts and will pay $4.5 billion in criminal fines stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Of the $4.5 billion, $1.26 billion are direct criminal fines; $2.4 billion will be directed to environmental restoration through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation; $1 billion will go to the U.S. Coast Guard for oil cleanup; and $350 million will be directed to prevent new oil spills and new technologies. The $4.5 billion settlement does not resolve civil claims that could result from violations of the Clean Water Act, which will be apportioned as directed by the RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act of 2012. The penalties related to the civil claims, which are estimated to be between $5-20 billion, will likely be resolved in early 2013. For more information, contact Ocean Resource Policy Director Mike Leonard, x230.
ASA Comments on Atlantic Menhaden Management
On November 16, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) closed their public comment period on Amendment II to the Menhaden Management Plan, which proposed management measures to start restoring menhaden abundance and availability as a forage species. Menhaden are one of the most ecologically important species in the oceans acting as a forage species for striped bass, bluefish, Atlantic tuna and other important saltwater species. ASA submitted comments urging the ASMFC to end overfishing of menhaden and set in place management measures that account for the important ecological function that menhaden serve for Atlantic marine fisheries.
2012 Fishing Participation Continues to Outpace 2011
In a license index run cooperatively by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF), license sales from January through September 2012 increased an estimated 5.6 percent compared to the same months in 2011. This index is based on license sales reported by 13 states strategically selected across the U.S. An early Spring across the country helped sales exceed 2011 levels. All thirteen states included in this index recorded overall sales increases in the first three quarters 2012. For more information, contact Rob Southwick at (904) 277-9765.