Boating Industry

April 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 23 of 43

24 | Boating Industry | April 2016 [ ABC Update ] At this year's Miami International Boat Show, the American Sportfishing Association unveiled its new Keep Florida Fishing initiative with the goal of "clean waters, abundant fisheries and access to both." The effort came from the ASA board's desire to protect the industry's ability to do business in Florida, as it saw those opportunities being threatened by groups that want to limit access, said Glenn Hughes, vice president of industry relations. "We want anglers to have the ability to go fishing and boaters to go boating around our Florida waters and we want to support the con- servation efforts," Hughes said. "We didn't want to have what happened in California starting in 2008 with marine protected areas that stopped fishermen from being able to fish in certain parts of California. We didn't want to have that happen in Florida." To support that effort, which is part of the larger Keep America Fishing campaign, ASA hired two new, Florida-based employees to advocate for the industry: Gary Jennings as Keep Florida Fishing manager and Kellie Ralston as Florida fisheries policy director. About 3 million people go fishing in Florida every year and they support $8.6 billion in economic activity and more than 80,000 jobs, Jennings said. "We're also trying to raise aware- ness of how recreational fishing in Florida is not only big business, but also that anglers care about conservation," he said. "Anglers are involved in conservation, we want our fisheries to be healthy and be there for our kids and future generations to enjoy." One current threat that KFF is fighting are pro- posals by a group called Our Florida Reefs, which is seeking to close off large areas of the ocean near Southeast Florida to recreational fishing in order to protect reefs in the area. KFF feels that anglers are being unfairly blamed for issues with the reefs when it is due more to water quality issues from nitrates and other chemicals, Jennings said. ASA is urging everyone in the industry to be- come involved in the campaign and get educated on the issues. "It's not just people that are in Florida," Hughes said. "It's the people that are building these boats all around the country, because ev- eryone does business in Florida." Read more about Keep Florida Fishing at and KEEP FLORIDA FISHING

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Boating Industry - April 2016