Florida Fishing Forum

Sportfishing Leaders Converge on Washington

Posted By: FFF Staff

Sportfishing Leaders Converge on Washington - 04/02/18 11:18 PM

Sportfishing Leaders Converge on Washington
ASA Government Affairs committee outlines industry agenda for coming months

During its annual spring meeting, the American Sportfishing Association’s (ASA) Government Affairs
committee discussed a variety of sportfishing policy positions and outlined its agenda for the coming
months. Over the course of the two-day meeting – held March 26-27, in Washington, D.C. – the committee
held briefings with three federal agencies, hosted a panel of key Congressional staff and met with
several Congressional offices.

“Our Government Affairs committee meeting is an important opportunity for industry leaders to sit down
with decision makers whose actions impact both our industry and its fisheries nationwide,” said Gary Zurn,
senior vice president of Industry Relations for Big Rock Sports and ASA’s Government Affairs committee
Chairman. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to explain our posiitons on the industry’s most important issues
and show key decision-makers what sportfishing means to the nation’s economy.”

Some of the top issues discussed included the Modern Fish Act; positions on West coast salmon, aquatic
invasive species, mining and open ocean aquaculture; as well as other legislative and regulatory topics
being monitored by the association. The committee also discussed ways to increase the industry’s reach by
using social media to engage members on issues such as advocacy, conservation and policy. ASA’s Government
Affairs committee is made up of individuals representing a wide range of sportfishing businesses and
associations nationwide. The committee meets face-to-face twice a year to discuss key legislative and
regulatory issues that impact recreational fishing, which helps to shape ASA’s stance and plan of action
over the course of the coming months.

“These meetings are vital to the ongoing relationship between our industry and those whose decisions impact
it,” said Dave Bulthuis, vice president of Government Affairs for Costa and ASA’s Saltwater East Subcommittee
Chairman. “This year’s meeting was one of our most productive ever. While our industry undoubtedly faces
many challenges, I’ve never been more encouraged by the positive direction on which we’re heading regarding
so many important issues affecting fisheries conservation and public access.”

“Thankfully, our industry is well-represented in our Government Affairs committee,” said Scott Gudes, ASA’s
Government Affairs vice president. “Collectively, these leaders in the industry help ASA to ensure our voices
are heard on Capitol Hill and decisions are made with recreational fishing’s best interests in mind.”
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