Sportfishing Industry Hopeful About NOAA’s “Fresh Look” at Recreational Fishing
Announcement signals NOAA’s intent to work productively with the sportfishing community
September 2, 2009 - Alexandria, Va. – Following a number of conversations with members of the recreational fishing industry and media, this morning Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., announced her intention to “take a fresh look” at NOAA’s relationship with the recreational fishing community. The American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the trade association representing the sportfishing industry, is hopeful that Dr. Lubchenco’s announcement signals a new era within NOAA to work productively with the saltwater recreational fishing community as policies and processes are developed.
“Although we are a long way from ensuring that the industry’s and anglers’ concerns are addressed, this is a good first step for NOAA,” said ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman. “We view Dr. Lubchenco’s announcement as a genuine effort by NOAA to engage our industry and we look forward to working with the agency. The sportfishing industry has always supported fisheries management efforts that seek to improve our nation’s fisheries, salt or freshwater. Strong fisheries mean a strong industry.”
Nussman further said, “I’m pleased that Dr. Lubchenco recognizes that saltwater anglers are one of NOAA's largest organized constituencies. Millions of Americans count on NOAA to manage our marine fisheries for their enjoyment and their livelihoods. I am hopeful that this is a turning point in NOAA’s relationship with the industry and with recreational saltwater anglers.”
In August, industry leaders met with NOAA leadership to discuss a variety of issues of concern to the recreational fishing community, emphasizing the need for and importance of better scientific data and statistics when it comes to the marine recreational fishing sector. They also stressed the vast economic contribution of the sportfishing industry, which is roughly equal to that of the domestic commercial fishing sector.
During ASA’s membership meeting this October in San Diego, Dr. Lubchenco will address ASA’s membership and guests on Tuesday, October 27, during lunch remarks. The Sportfishing Summit annually hosts leaders from the sportfishing and boating industries, federal and state natural resource agencies, non-governmental organizations and outdoor media. During the meeting, industry members focus their efforts on the issues facing the sportfishing industry and the broader sportfishing community.
The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association, committed to looking out for the interests of the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry a unified voice speaking out when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. We invest in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic and conservation values of sportfishing in America. ASA also represents the interests of America’s 60 million anglers who generate over $45 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for over one million people.