Industry takes to Capitol Hill for Magnuson-Stevens reform

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In a continued effort to educate lawmakers about the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, several industry players addressed staff representing members of the Congressional Boating Caucus on Tuesday about the importance of supporting recreational fishing and boating through legislation.

More than 200 leaders, stakeholders and business owners in the recreational boating and fishing industries already had signed a letter to the Senate and House of Representatives supporting the reauthorization of the MSA, the primary law governing federal saltwater fisheries management.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association and the American Sportfishing Association spearheaded an effort to circulate the letter to industry representatives with abundant success, NMMA reports in the Currents newsletter that it emailed to members today.

On Tuesday, representatives from marine organizations spoke to congressional staff members, stressing the considerable economic imprint of recreational boating and saltwater angling in the United States.

Panelists included Nicole Vasilaros of the NMMA, Chris Macaluso of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Mike Leonard of the ASA.

More than 20 congressional staff attended the briefing and heard panelists speak about the report “A Vision for Managing America's Saltwater Recreational Fisheries,” developed by the Morris-Deal Commission and specifically, the six key recommendations for saltwater fisheries management within it.

Anglers contribute more than $1.5 billion annually to fisheries habitat and conservation via excise taxes and license fees.

In 2011, about 11 million Americans saltwater-fished recreationally, spending $27 billion in pursuit of their sport. That activity generated more than $70 billion in economic output and sustained 450,000 jobs.

Recreational boating in this country is a $36.7 billion industry and it creates 338,526 marine industry jobs, including manufacturers, dealers, wholesalers and services at 34,833 marine industry businesses.

Recreational boating is a uniquely American industry because 95 percent of the powerboats sold in the United States are made in this country.

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