National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich touted the Modern Fish Act in an Orlando Sentinel guest column last weekend, asking readers to help update the “archaic, overreaching fisheries laws.”
Dammrich explained in the column that excise taxes on anglers in Florida in 2015 generated $37,555.602 in revenue from licensing alone.
“This makes anglers’ lack of access particularly problematic,” Dammrich wrote in the newspaper. “Without these anglers — who contribute $1.5 billion annually to fisheries and conservation through excise taxes, donations and fees — our natural resources would be decimated.”
Dammrich said the recreational boat industry supports more than 650,000 American jobs and has an economic impact of more than $121 billion a year.
In Florida more than 55,000 people work in jobs supported by recreational boating, contributing $10.3 billion to the economy, he said.
“However, the industry’s significant contribution, both to the work force and our nation’s economy, has been hampered by well-intentioned, poorly designed federal fishing regulations that rely on bad data and management,” Dammrich wrote.
Working alongside partners, including the Center for Sportfishing Policy and American Sportfishing Association, the NMMA is encouraging all fishing and boating stakeholders to chime in on these efforts by highlighting their stories on social media and tagging them with #ModernFish.
The groups are also requesting that stakeholders ask their members of Congress to support the Modern Fish Act.