Yamaha Marine president pushes for fishing reforms

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The policy around red snapper fishing in the Gulf region is so disastrous for recreational anglers that it could actually wind up working on behalf of the recreational industry.

That’s according to Yamaha Marine president Ben Speciale, who tells Trade Only Today that the “really bad management of the red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico”helps strengthen the industry in its push for change.

“It’s just so obvious that it’s broken. It helps solidify a lot of people to say, yeah, this is really clear,”Speciale told Trade Only, “because typical governmental stuff is not clear, but this is really clear. It’s easier to get more people to understand it on more association boards.”

Speciale believes the industry shouldn’t be discouraged by the most recent variation of the Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization bill to surface in the House, although it disappointed many who pushed for the legislation to include recreational fishing more specifically, rather than lumping it in with commercial fishing, as has occurred in the past.

Key stakeholders had hoped that more of the language in the Morris-Deal Commission report, A Vision for Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries, would be included in a bill.

The Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act, or H.R. 4742, disappointed many in the recreational fishing and boating community.

But Speciale said the Morris-Deal Commission has traction because many industry stakeholders signed on early in a statement of support.

“The political process is not black and white, and it’s laden with little land mines everywhere,”Speciale said. “You have to realize, our challenge is not to have a straight path, but to make sure it’s going in the right direction at all times. That’s why I would tell you this is not the end of the process of being politically active. It’s got to be the beginning of the process. And every year we need to have voices more cohesively heard, no matter what happens with any legislative item.”

Read the full interview with Speciale in the August issue of Soundings Trade Only.

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