Weekly Policy Watch Updates From The ASA

Your weekly look at how ASA’s government affairs team is hard at work supporting sound fisheries policies throughout the country.

ASA President Glenn Hughes Speaks Out on Boating Speed Restrictions

Proposed Atlantic Coast speed restrictions are one of the greatest threats facing our industry. ASA President Glenn Hughes was invited to speak on the subject at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

Lead Tackle Protections Added to Appropriations Bill

On Friday, key provisions of the Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act of 2023 (H.R. 615) were passed by the U.S. House of Representatives as part of the FY24 Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. The bill included provisions that ensure that none of the allocated appropriations can be used to prohibit the use of lead ammunition or tackle on federal lands or waters designated for recreational hunting and fishing.

ASA would like to thank Rep. Rob Wittman (VA-01) for introducing this legislation which now has the support of 50 cosponsors and acts as a safeguard against the arbitrary banning of lead tackle on federal lands unless scientific evidence demonstrates harm to wildlife.

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Cosponsors Add Their Support to Youth Coastal Fishing Program Act

Earlier this year, Congress introduced legislation to create a grant program to fund community-based programs that take children on fishing trips in coastal or Great Lakes waters. This bill will increase access to the water to youth who otherwise might never learn to fish or appreciate the outdoors.

Last month, four additional co-sponsors signed onto this important legislation. ASA would like to thank Rep. Jill Tokuda (D-HI), Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA), Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH), and Rep. Hillary Scholten (D-MI) for their leadership and support.

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ASA Comments on Proposal to Create Conservation Area in Florida

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a draft proposal to establish the Everglades to Gulf Conservation Area in 12 counties of southwest Florida. Management of the proposed Conservation Area would improve water quality, quantity and water storage within the Greater Everglades and watersheds entering Charlotte Harbor. FWS could also provide recreation opportunities including fishing in the Conservation Area. ASA commented via a letter in support of this proposal, but also cautioned FWS that ASA would not support prohibitions on lead tackle in the Conservation Area.

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The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association committed to representing the interests of the sportfishing and boating industries as well as the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry and anglers a unified voice when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. ASA invests in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous, as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic, conservation and social values of sportfishing in America. ASA also gives America’s 55 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to sustainably fish on our nation’s waterways through Keep America Fishing, our national angler advocacy campaign. America’s anglers generate nearly $50 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for 800,000 people.