LAS VEGAS — Mike Nussman, president and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association, said today that efforts by the $125 billion tackle industry to preserve and expand sportfishing and business growth are bearing fruit.
“We face challenges in California, where an attempt was made to ban all recreational fishing in coastal waters, in the Great Lakes where invasion of Asian carp are a threat to gamefish species and in North Carolina where the National Park Service is attempting to close down miles of prime traditional surf fishing opportunities, as well as in many other areas. ASA is working in all these areas, both by asserting legislative pressure and, in the case of California, by seeking legal remedy,” said Nussman. “Keeping the water open is critical; it’s one of our chief goals, along with maintaining water quality and fishery habit.”
He said that any sort of management, whether in business or in fishery management, needs reasonable goals and accurate measurements of whether those goals are being reached.
“The current federal management regimen is arbitrary, not based on good science, and has resulted in many unnecessary closures, which we are working to reverse,” Nussman said.
Nussman also said that ASA’s efforts to increase participation in angling are bearing fruit.
“Our Keep America Fishing website is now drawing 30,000 hits a month,” Nussman said. “It’s not only a great informational site but also a way for us to show our numbers to state and federal legislators who make the rules affecting us all. And we’ve been able to generate as high as 45,000 emails to legislative offices on a single fishery issue — that gets the attention of elected officials.”