The American Sportfishing Association is launching a renewed effort to unite the sportfishing industry and the country's 60 million anglers with one united voice to keep the nation's public waters open, clean and abundant with fish.
The announcement was made during the sportfishing industry's 53rd International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades. ICAST, which runs through Friday in Las Vegas., is produced by the ASA.
Across the country, preventing or limiting recreational anglers from accessing public fisheries resources is being touted as a new way to manage fish populations, undermining the achievements of proven fisheries management methods that focus on conservation and promote sustainable fishing, the ASA said in a release.
"If this alarming trend continues, anglers nationwide may risk similar restrictions being implemented on their favorite lakes, rivers and streams," ASA president and CEO Mike Nussman told more than 400 sportfishing business leaders Wednesday morning during the annual State of the Industry breakfast.
"The voice of 60 million conservationist anglers who promote conservation over preservation must be heard by legislators, regulators and environmentalists," he added.
Through policy, science and conservation, the Keep America Fishing initiative works to minimize access restrictions, promote clean waters and restore fish populations. With its conservation partners, Keep America Fishing works to limit science-based closures to areas in which they are clearly beneficial to the health of the fishery, according to the ASA.