Alexandria, Va. – During its spring meeting, the American Sportfishing Association’s (ASA) Government Affairs Committee discussed a variety of pressing policy issues that impact the recreational fishing industry. Over the course of the two-day meeting held March 14-15, the committee held briefings with three federal agencies, hosted a panel of key Congressional staff and met with more than two dozen Congressional offices.
“Our Government Affairs Committee meeting is an important opportunity for the industry to meet face-to-face with decision makers who impact fisheries conservation and access throughout the country,” said Gary Zurn, senior vice president, Industry Relations, for Big Rock Sports headquartered in Morehead City, N.C., and ASA’s Government Affairs Committee Chairman. “Despite a snowstorm that impacted some travel plans, we still had more than 30 people attend the meeting.”
ASA’s Government Affairs Committee is comprised of individuals representing a wide array of sportfishing businesses and associations from across the country. The committee meets face-to-face twice a year to discuss key legislative and regulatory issues that impact recreational fishing as well as helping to guide ASA’s positions and activities regarding these issues.
Some of the top issues discussed with Congressional offices were: passage of the Sportsmen’s Actand modernization of saltwater recreational fisheries management; the importance of the Everglades restoration to Florida’s fisheries; invasive species control in the Great Lakes; and public access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
“As an industry, we face numerous federal and state legislative challenges, so it’s vitally important for members of Congress and federal agency leaders to hear firsthand from our members about the importance of recreational fishing to the nation’s economy and wellbeing,” said ASA’s Government Affairs Vice President Scott Gudes. “Thankfully, our industry is well represented by our Government Affairs Committee members who dedicate their time and energy to tackling these challenges.”