(MIAMI) – The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) unveiled its new initiative in the Sunshine State, Keep Florida Fishing, at the Miami International Boat Show’s Annual Industry Breakfast this morning. Keep Florida Fishing is an advocacy arm of ASA with the goal of ensuring that Florida’s anglers have clean waters, abundant fisheries and access to both.
“There are more than 3 million resident and visiting anglers, who support more than 80,000 jobs in the state, with $8.7 billion in economic output. Yet, there are numerous efforts that, if successful, would severely restrict access to recreational anglers. Simply put, Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World, and we want to keep it that way,” said ASA’s Vice President of Industry Relations, Glenn Hughes.
ASA’s board of directors determined that an initiative specific to Florida was needed to ensure that anglers and the industry’s priorities were taken into consideration when polices or decisions were made that impact recreational fishing in the number one recreational fishing state in the country. As a result, Floridians Kellie Ralston and Gary Jennings, joined the ASA team to focus on policy and advocacy efforts in the state.
“In addition to being a strong economic force in our state, Florida’s anglers contribute approximately $40 million each year toward the conservation of our state’s fisheries through license purchases and the special tax on fishing equipment and motorboat fuel,” said ASA’s Florida Fisheries Policy Director, Kellie Ralston.
“Keep Florida Fishing gives a voice for people who love to fish in Florida by providing the information and resources to anglers and industry leaders to get engaged and become vocal about issues that affect access to recreational fishing and related industries. Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World because of Florida’s anglers,” said ASA’s Keep Florida Fishing Manager, Gary Jennings.
A current threat that Keep Florida Fishing is fighting are proposals by Our Florida Reefs, which seeks to close off large areas of the ocean near southeast Florida to recreational fishing and nominate the entire area as a national marine sanctuary among other restrictions. The proposal, which lacks scientific basis, would strip the state’s authority to manage our fisheries and lead to unwarranted, extensive fishing restrictions.
“Anglers stand to lose up to 30 percent of their fishing access in southeast Florida. To stop this, we are asking supporters to get involved by providing comment through the Our Florida Reefs website. Talking points and information on how to provide feedback may be found by visiting our website at KeepFloridaFishing.org,” said Jennings.
About Keep Florida Fishing
Keep Florida Fishing is an advocacy arm of the American Sportfishing Association with the goal of ensuring Florida anglers have clean waters, abundant fisheries and access to both. Learn more at www.KeepFloridaFishing.org. Find Keep Florida Fishing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
About the American Sportfishing Association
American Sportfishing Association is the sportfishing industry’s trade association, created in 1933 to represent tackle manufacturers’ business interests. Since then, the association has evolved from representing the interests of just tackle manufacturers to championing the entire sportfishing community. The association is funded through membership dues and income generated by its annual trade show. Learn more at http://www.asafishing.org/.