Industry groups meet on Biscayne National Park dispute

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The National Marine Manufacturers Association and other groups met Wednesday with National Park Service leadership, including Superintendent Mark Lewis, to discuss potential compromise in the ongoing debate surrounding the proposed General Management Plan of Biscayne National Park.

The meeting is the latest in a series of steps the NMMA and other boating and fishing organizations have taken to preserve water access that the recreational boating and angling community has long enjoyed on Biscayne Bay.

Others attending the meeting included: American Sportfishing Association, Center for Coastal Conservation, the Coastal Conservation Association, the Congressional Sportsman’s Foundation and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

“While there is still much work to be done, NMMA is hopeful the National Park Service will heed suggestions from the recreational boating and fishing community and remove the marine protected area from the GMP and instead utilize fisheries management working groups as the proper avenue for further fisheries management deliberation,” the NMMA said in a statement.

The meeting was a result of recent actions by the NMMA and ASA, including a press conference and letter to the editor in the Miami Herald, to ensure that boater and angler concerns are considered, along with those of the boating and fishing industry, that support an estimated 47,000 jobs and generate nearly $5 billion in economic impact annually across Florida, according to the association.

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