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 Speaks Out on Atlantic Boating Speed Restrictions

On November 9, 2023, members of Congress and their staff heard from ASA Atlantic Fisheries Policy Director Mike Waine about how a proposed rule could severely restrict boating access along the Atlantic Seaboard. Waine’s presentation was part of a briefing put together by the bipartisan Congressional Boating Caucus. NOAA’s proposed changes will not meaningfully improve protections for the North Atlantic right whale, put boater safety at risk, raise privacy concerns, severely limit boater access to the Atlantic Ocean, and will significantly harm coastal economies and livelihoods.

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Mississippi River Basin Fisheries Management Issues Discussed

On November 8, ASA joined the Mississippi Interstate Cooperative Resource Association (MICRA) for a briefing on interjurisdictional fisheries management and conservation challenges in the Mississippi River Basin. Addressing U.S. Senate staffers, the briefing panelists discussed aquatic habitat restoration in the Mississippi, aquatic invasive species like silver carp, and challenges associated with managing fisheries across state and federal jurisdictions.

ASA Inland Fisheries Policy Manager Connor Bevan participated in the panel and discussed the economic impact of the recreational fishing economy in Mississippi River states, and the impacts of aquatic invasive species on freshwater habitat and fisheries across the Basin. The briefing concluded with the panelists highlighting the need for a formalized Mississippi River Basin Fishery Commission to enhance coordination and management of interjurisdictional fisheries.

House Committee to Consider the MAPWaters Act

On Tuesday, November 14, the House Natural Resources Committee is holding a hearing on several bills including the MAPWaters Act. This new legislation, strongly supported by ASA, will make federal regulations far more accessible and be able to be integrated into your chartplotter, fish finder or navigation app. The MAPWaters Act will also direct agencies to digitize the locations of boat ramps and access points making it easier to access new fishing spots.  

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New Outdoor Recreation Economic Data

Outdoor recreation isn’t just good for society, it’s also great for the U.S. economy. Join the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable and guest speakers from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) as they debut the latest report on the size and impact of this critical sector of the American economy.

This is the sixth consecutive year that BEA will release information on how the outdoor recreation industry, including fishing, grows jobs, builds healthy communities, and supports the economy at all levels.

Join the webinar on Friday, November 17, at 1:30 PM Eastern.

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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.