RFA fights for recreational anglers


It appears politics is outgunning science and common sense when it comes to fishing regulations these days. Enter the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA), an organization worthy of boating industry support as it advocates in Washington and elsewhere for the nation’s recreational saltwater anglers.

Last year, Congress reauthorized the “Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation & Management Act” that advocates protection for America’s fisheries. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, the act also mandates inflexible deadlines and directs Regional Management Councils to set yearly quotas for all federally managed fish stocks. In such mandates rest many potential problems for recreational anglers.

Right now the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council has blatantly ignored calls by recreational anglers to verify the accuracy of claimed gag grouper stocks before plunging into arbitrary new regulations that will virtually wipe out recreational angling for this grouper. World-respected fisheries biologist Trevor Ketchington has reviewed the National Marine Fisheries Service’s own data and determined that overfishing was not occurring for this grouper. Still, the Gulf Council is turning a deaf ear.

Accordingly, topping the agenda at RFA is H.R. 5425, “The Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act.” It’s a fancy name for a bill that promotes restoration of fish populations and positively impact the growth of fishing and boating for the long-term. Most importantly, the bill also mandates fishery managers to exercise flexibility in regulations and timetables when certain common sense conditions apply, such as economic considerations or changes in environmental, ecological or fish-stock assessments. In other words, let reason prevail over politics!

"Despite the known inaccuracies with the gag grouper assessment, as well as other stock assessments, NMFS continues to hide behind some claim of ‘best available science’ to justify its cutbacks," says Jim Donofrio, RFA executive director and founder. "The approach taken in the gag grouper fishery is one example of a growing trend. It’s time for the boating and fishing industries to force NMFS to close massive holes in their assessments through the use of outside, non-bias fishery experts,” he adds. Amen!

RFA is doing a much-needed work and deserves direct support from the retail side of our industry, particularly those dealers who are selling boats in saltwater fishing markets. To learn a lot more and show your support and join, simply go to: www.joinrfa.org


Great Lakes Dealer Rebrands

Now known as Trawlers Great Lakes, the former Bay Breeze Yacht Sales has been a Nordic Tugs dealer since 2002.

Registration for Outdoors Conference Opens

The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable’s June 1-2 virtual conference will include speakers and presenters from government agencies and ORR member partners.

Yamaha Sees Double-Digit Growth in Q1

The marine segment was up 7.4 percent, driven by demand for outboards in North America and Europe but tempered by supply-chain logistics.

Orion Announces SafetyPro Training

The factory-authorized courses are designed “to educate retail associates on how to match a boater’s type of boating with the different signal kits that we offer.”

A Truce on Tariffs?

The E.U. will suspend the June 1 increase of its retaliatory tariffs and agreed to negotiate with the U.S. to end steel and aluminum tariffs.

Argos 3D Forward Looking Sonar

For 20 Years, FarSounder has been developing and manufacturing 3D forward-looking sonar for vessels of all sizes.

Dometic Marine Appoints Executives

The company promotes a 20-plus-year employee and adds a vice president of aftermarket sales and e-commerce.

IMEA Launches Scholarship Program

The International Marine Electronics Alliance aims to recruit students into the field of marine technology.

RBFF Campaign Reels in Awards

The fishing-and-boating advocacy group’s Get on Board campaign was recognized by two national public relations organizations.