Around the Industry in 8 Paragraphs

Halloween approaches as October 2020 quickly draws to a close. In less than two weeks, spooky season will give way to cranberry season. Your bottle of Ocean Spray and copy of Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” are optional as we begin to slam the door on a difficult year. This week, I’m breaking down key industry happenings from October in a short form format that we call Around the Industry in 8 Paragraphs. (1)

The ASA Sportfishing Summit wrapped up last week. Originally scheduled for a Naples, Florida convention resort, the summit instead took place online due to COVID-19. Savvy retailers and manufacturers would be wise to watch the organization’s Vice President of Government Affairs, Mike Leonard, break down the latest happenings in Washington. They could have a real impact on what products you can make and sell, and where you can sell them. (2)

Speaking of Florida, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is going forward as planned from October 28 — November 1. This show is more for the yachting and powerboat crowd, but the decision to host hundreds of manufacturers and members of the public seems shockingly irresponsible. Broward County, Florida statistically ranks among the nation’s leaders in COVID-19 cases. The boat show is unlikely to be postponed, so let’s hope it goes off without a hitch. (3)

It feels like a lifetime ago, but Johnson Outdoors kicked off the month by launching its third generation Humminbird SOLIX series. That’s big news in a market segment that’s as hot as they come. Humminbird’s MEGA 360 Imaging is garnered rave reviews and raking up high-profile tournament wins at both BASS and Major League Fishing. The launch of a new flagship MFD is worthy of any retailer or avid angler’s attention. (4)

Pitman Creek Wholesale recently announced the addition of a new, 205,000-square-foot warehouse in Stanford, Kentucky. The company—which has become one of the premier wholesalers for bass fishing tackle in the nation—has had a presence in Stanford since 1993 and employs about 100 people in the region. (5)

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order on October 7 that establishes framework to conserve 30% of the state’s land and coastal waters by 2030. The order directs the California Natural Resources Agency to develop and report strategies to conserve the land and water areas in collaboration with other relevant agencies. ASA’s Pacific Fisheries Policy Director Danielle Cloutier says the ASA hopes to actively participate in the plan in order to enhance biodiversity and make sure the state recognizes recreational fishing’s longstanding contributions to conservation and low environmental impact. (6)

Newsom’s order is in alignment with the 30 by 30 concept, a movement that could redefine the future of the planet—and that’s not hyperbole. 30 by 30 is a global concept that’s already been endorsed by leaders from more than 25 countries. The United States has not officially endorsed the concept, though it is being championed by members of the Senate. Domestically, the movement would create more marine protected areas in the United States. Traditionally, those areas have allowed recreational fishing as well as diving, surfing and boating. Widespread implementation of 30 by 30 could lower the temperature of the world’s oceans and help restore fisheries endangered by warming waters like the Florida snook, Gulf Coast redfish, New England cod, and Alaskan king crab fisheries. (7)

This week, fishing industry groups sounded off on 30 by 30 in a widely-circulated statement. The ASA, BASS, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Center for Sportfishing Policy all chimed in. The overreaching message? Many of the organizations are concerned about safeguarding angler access to fisheries, but want to find common ground and work towards the goal. Historically, the recreational fishing industry has a highly effective political arm that is  successful in advocating for its business interests. Ocean protection promises an increase in biodiversity and quality of fish, and the 30 by 30 movement could benefit recreational anglers across the board as long as its resulting policies don’t restrict angler access. (8)