The National Marine Manufacturers Association and the American Sportfishing Association introduced the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s new “60-in-60” campaign during a policy briefing on Capitol Hill Wednesday that the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation hosted.
The campaign aims to increase the number of anglers in the United States from 46 million to 60 million in 60 months, or by 2021.
Representatives of the angling and boating community and members of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus attended the briefing to learn about the campaign, focusing on ways to reassess the nation's approach to recruiting, retaining and reactivating anglers, especially younger segments of the population.
"ASA and NMMA are organizations that represent everyone from the industry side to individual members of the sportfishing community," Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., said in a statement. "This initiative is about expanding the reach of the recreational angling community."
Wittman is co-chairman of the Sportsmen’s Caucus, and Rep. Gene Green, D-Texas, is vice chairman.
"Because of the current angler demographic between ages 52 and 70, we risk declining participation rates in the next decade," Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus president Jeff Crane said. "In order to effectively recruit enough anglers to sustain the industry's economic impact in the country, as well as the significant contribution anglers and boaters make to conservation, we need a new approach to get people reconnected with one of the nation's most enduring pastimes — fishing."
"Boating and fishing are two of the most popular activities in America, and our industries have a significant economic impact throughout the country," NMMA president Thom Dammrich said. " '60-in-60' is about recruitment, retention and reactivation. It's about partnerships between the industry, state governments and anglers to focus on what we can do better to grow the sport and improve the fishing experience."
"We thank the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus for meeting with us to learn more about the future of recreational fishing and the new '60-in-60' angler participation initiative. CSC members understand that clean water, abundant fish and access to both are crucial to outdoor recreation overall and getting people out on the water," ASA vice president Scott Gudes said.
"This new initiative is focused on what the sportfishing community needs to do to be more customer-focused and develop the next generation of anglers."