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Industry groups set the stage for 2017

The Advisor Council of Marine Associations set Dec. 6 for their annual meeting, while the Recreational Fishing Alliance has told its members what it sees in the recent election results.

The ACMA is primarily made up of the presidents and executive directors of the industry’s state and regional marine trade associations. Its function is to recommend to the board of the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas the priority issues on federal and state levels in which the trade groups believe the MRAA should be engaged.

Since 2010, the ACMA meeting has been coupled with the National Marine Trade Council’s annual conference in November at the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo in Orlando. This year, however, with the MDCE moving to later dates (Dec. 5-8) the NMTC elected to hold its conference in May 2017. Prior to moving the NMTC meetings to the MDCE dates, the NMTC traditionally held its annual conference in May.

George Harris, president of the Northwest Marine Trades Association and current ACMA chairman, reports a good number of association leaders are slated to attend. However, for some others who are in the final stages of preparation for their early January boat shows, the new dates make travel time difficult. So there will also be a call-in set up and all marine trade associations are invited and encouraged to attend the meeting in Orlando or use the call-in option.

To sign up, simply RSVP to george@nmta.net or MRAA public policy manager Will Higgins at william@mraa.com . The meeting will be Tuesday, Dec. 6 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room W103B of the Orlando County Convention Center.

Good news for fishing

"The days of the environmental zealots running the show is, for the most part, over," Jim Donofrio, executive director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, told his members following the election of Donald Trump last week.

"I think we'll start to see a more balanced approach between access to our resources, responsible stewardship and common-sense conservation,” Donofrio continued. “This, of course, has always been a major goal of the RFA, but in many arenas it's been an uphill battle.

“So we're excited about this new direction and look forward to some positive changes to the Magnuson-Stevens Act that will benefit our sector, along with a new attitude towards fishery management,” he added.

Donofrio also predicted that the use of executive action to circumvent the public management process will likely end. He referred to President Obama’s unilateral use of the Antiquities Act of 1906 to designate vast areas of the oceans as "national monuments" in order to increase restrictions including banning fishing.

"We're hoping that President Trump will reverse some of these designations in the near future," Donofrio said. "They represent an unacceptable level of governmental overreach and we already have a transparent public process to manage our resources in the form of the Magnuson-Stevens Act."

The RFA is a national grassroots political action organization representing recreational fishermen and the recreational fishing industry on marine fisheries issues. I’m a member and if fishing is an important to your customer base as a dealer, I encourage you to join, too. Just go to www.joinrfa.org

The National Marine Manufacturers Association is hopeful that Trump will change his stance on the Renewable Fuel Standard, since to date the president-elect has largely supported ethanol interests.

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