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.
- Distinction Made Between Recreational and Commercial Fishing in New Marine Reserve
- 2014 Sportfishing Summit Overview
- ASA Committee, Board of Directors and General Membership Meetings
Thank You 2014 Sportfishing Summit Sponsors
- Marine Recreational Fishing Policy Gets a Boost from Industry
- Fish and Aquatic Conservation Program Releases Draft Strategic Plan
- More Than 500,000 People Comment On Mining in Bristol Bay
- Debate over Biscayne National Park Marine Reserve Continues
- New Regulations Considered for Atlantic Striped Bass
- $2.1 Million in Hurricane Sandy Aid for Fishing Small Businesses
- KeepAmericaFishing Partners with Sportsman Network
- WI and Texas Recognized for Outstanding Sport Fish Restoration Projects
- Mark Your Calendar for ICAST 2015
- Check Out the ICAST 2014 Show Highlights
IMPORTANT NEWS – Distinction Made Between Recreational and Commercial Fishing in New Marine Reserve
On September 25, the President signed a proclamation expanding the existing Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument to six times its current size, creating the largest marine reserve in the world. Although the proclamation bans commercial fishing, deep-sea mining and other commercial extraction methods, recreational fishing will be allowed. Acknowledging that recreational fishing is a sustainable use of public resources, especially in one as pristine and special as this area of the Pacific, is a distinction for which the recreational fishing community has been advocating for many years. Recreational fishing in freshwater has long been embraced by natural resource managers as an appropriate use of this public resource. ASA is pleased that the administration is bringing the same understanding to our nation’s saltwater resources. The expanded monument will continue to be managed by the Departments of the Interior and Commerce through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration respectively.
2014 Sportfishing Summit Overview
The American Sportfishing Association's 2014 Sportfishing Summit, the sportfishing industry's premier networking and business management event, is being held October 15-17, at the Hotel Contessa, located on the historic River Walk in downtown San Antonio, Texas. 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. For those attending the Summit, we encourage you to attend the board of directors, committee and General Membership meetings in order to gain a better understanding of how ASA staff and your colleagues work on your behalf. We have a full agenda planned beginning with the Advocacy Committee meeting and the Board of Directors meeting on Tuesday, October 14, and ending with the association's General Membership meeting on Friday morning, October 17. All the details about the Summit can be found on ASA’s website – www.ASAfishing.org/summit2014.
ASA Committee, Board of Directors and General Membership Meetings
During the 2014 Sportfishing Summit, the ASA Board of Directors will meet on Tuesday, October 14, from 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. They will also meet on Friday, October 17, from 7:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. The association's committees will meet on Wednesday, October 15 and Thursday, October 16, in the mornings. The Government Affairs, Communications, Consumer Shows and Membership committees meet Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. – Noon. The Government Affairs, Data and Statistics, Finance and Trade Show committees meet on Thursday from 9:00 a.m. – Noon. The Advocacy committee meets on Tuesday, October 15, from Noon – 2:15 p.m. The General Membership Meeting will take place on Friday, October 17, from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. If you have questions about the board of directors or committee meetings, please contact Joyce Anderson-Logan, x233, or go to the board and committee meetings agenda on the ASA website under www.ASAfishing.org/summit2014.
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: Premium – NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service; Pure Fishing, Inc.; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Silver – Bass Pro Shops; Cabela’s; Outdoorguide.com Group; Take Me Fishing™; Bronze – Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies; Deloitte Tax LLP; FIA Insurance Services, Inc.; Southwick Associates, Inc.; USDA – Forest Service and World Fishing Network.
Marine Recreational Fishing Policy Gets a Boost from Industry
In September, more than 200 leaders in the recreational fishing and boating industries signed onto a letter to Senate and House members asking them to support key policy changes to saltwater recreational fisheries management in the upcoming Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) reauthorization. The MSA is the primary law governing federal saltwater fisheries management. ASA and the National Marine Manufacturers Association spearheaded this effort which includes boat builders, engine manufacturers, and fishing tackle manufacturers and retailers. The clear message for Congress is: recreational fishing and boating must be an integral part of the MSA reauthorization. The letter specifically encourages Congress to integrate the priorities described in the landmark report, A Vision for Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries, into the MSA. Produced by the Commission on Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Management, better known as the Morris-Deal Commission, the report was introduced this past February to media and anglers. Click here to read a copy of the letter that was sent to Congress.
Fish and Aquatic Conservation Program Releases Draft Strategic Plan
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a draft of its Fish and Aquatic Strategic Plan to stakeholders in September. The comment period ended on October 6. The plan has six core goals that address threatened species, protecting habitat, invasive species, tribal responsibilities and recreational fishing and public engagement. In its advisory letter, the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council, of which ASA is a member, asked the USFWS to better align the core goals to its own Strategic Vision that was released in 2013.
More Than 500,000 People Comment On Mining in Bristol Bay
The EPA received more than 574,000 comments regarding their plan to restrict dredge and fill material disposal that would be generated by the proposed Bristol Bay Pebble Mine. ASA submitted a letter on behalf of the sportfishing industry supporting the EPA’s proposal and outlining its concerns if development of the copper mine moved forward. Because of the magnitude of public input, EPA extended the deadline for its own final determination to February 4, 2015. On September 24, an Alaskan federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by the owners of the Pebble Mine. The lawsuit challenged the EPA’s ability to restrict mining activities within Bristol Bay. If the EPA uses 404(c), a provision of the Clean Water Act to protect valuable areas against harmful discharge, and vetoes the Pebble Mine permit, it’s likely that Pebble LLC will sue again.
Debate over Biscayne National Park Marine Reserve Continues
Despite strong opposition from the recreational fishing community and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the National Park Service (NPS) continues to consider creating a large no-fishing zone in Biscayne National Park. Supported by environmental groups, the NPS is still considering a management plan option – Alternative 4 – that would close approximately 10,500 acres of the Park’s most popular and productive shallow water reefs to recreational fishing. Such a closure is expected to have significant negative impacts on communities surrounding Biscayne National Park. ASA believes other, less restrictive, management options can achieve resource management goals while maintaining public access. The NPS is accepting public input until October 10, before finalizing its General Management Plan. We encourage you to send in your comments through KeepAmericaFishing.
New Regulations Considered for Atlantic Striped Bass
In response to declining populations of striped bass, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) is considering a reduction in recreational and commercial fishing. The Commission proposed several options for how to achieve a harvest reduction over a one to three year period, including bag limits, size limits, slot limits and allowing for trophy harvest. They collected public comments and held public meetings throughout September on Draft Addendum IV to Amendment 6 of the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass. To achieve the benchmark, ASA wrote in its recommendation letter to reduce fishing mortality by 25 percent within one year. Click here to view ASA’s letter to the ASMFC.
$2.1 Million in Hurricane Sandy Aid for Fishing Small Businesses
The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration will provide funds to compensate and help rebuild New Jersey’s fishing industry that was adversely impacted by Hurricane Sandy. In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast, crippling New Jersey’s $1.74 billion recreational fishing industry which supports 10,000 jobs. Recreational fishing-related businesses may apply for grants up to $10,000 to help offset some of the costs of the storm on their operations. The Department of Environmental Protection, which will be administering the grants, is accepting Expression of Interest pre-applications through the Division of Fish and Wildlife's Fishery Disaster webpage between October 1 and 31.
KeepAmericaFishing Partners with Sportsman Network
KeepAmericaFishing has developed a new partner relationship with Sportsman Network. Through the donation of proceeds from the sales of co-branded decals, Sportsman Network has committed to helping KAF lead the fight for clean, accessible waters and sustainable fisheries. The custom designed decals, including POS displays, will be sold in stores and promoted by Sportsman Network in their magazines, online site and Sportsman TV. The details are being finalized and more information is forthcoming.
Wisconsin and Texas Recognized for Outstanding Sport Fish Restoration Projects
State fish and wildlife agencies in Wisconsin and Texas were awarded the 2014 Outstanding Sport Fish Restoration Program Projects of the Year by the American Fisheries Society’s (AFS) Fisheries Administration Section. The winners were announced recently at the AFS annual meeting held in Quebec City, Canada. The AFS is North America’s leading organization of professional fisheries scientists. Click here for details about the winning projects.
Mark Your Calendar for ICAST 2015
Please mark your calendars for ICAST 2015 which is being held July 14-17, at the Orange County Convention Center is Orlando, Fla.
Check Out the ICAST 2014 Show Highlights
From every corner of the globe, 11,000 exhibitors, buyers and media converged on the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) for ICAST 2014. In addition, close to 1,000 media representatives, covering a wide-range of media outlets, were at the OCCC to cover the exhibits and products offered by 480 exhibitors on a show floor that covered 500,000 gross square feet. Check out all of the highlights of ICAST 2014 including the New Product Showcase “Best of Show” winners and dozens of photos showing the show floor and special events.