Guy Harvey Magazine

WIN 2017

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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Page 19 of 83

20 | NEWS, NOTES & GEAR BY GHM STAFF It's safe to say that one of the greatest things about fishing is it can be an escape from politics. No matter what side you rooted for—or railed against—in the latest election cycle, it's likely we all agree that prescription drug commercials took on a certain appeal after enduring all those campaign ads. But like it or not, politics are a necessary part of life, and though we may not think about it when we're doubled up on a big fish, they're also a big part of our favorite pastime. Fortunately, there are a lot of folks out there advocating for fishing, be it in Washington or Tallahassee or Sacramento or any other state capitol. Groups like CCA (Coastal Conservation Association) do great work to represent the interests of anglers and protect recreational fishing, as does the IGFA (International Game Fish Association) and more focused groups like the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust. But one group in particular has gone to work on a national level. It's the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and their advocacy arm Keep America Fishing. As the recreational fishing industry's major trade organization, ASA is able to pull together some serious political muscle. They look out for their members, the companies that sell us gear and boats and take us on charters, but they also advocate for the 46 million anglers who make up the fraternity of fishing. This includes fighting against unnecessary regulations, promoting access to waterways and pushing for smart fisheries management. If you're not familiar with ASA, think of them as the people who help keep big brother in check. Here's how they have been working in recent months to promote and protect the sport we love: ASA recently joined with a number of other organizations to oppose listing Pacific bluefin tuna as endangered under the Endangered Species Act and to oppose a petition to ban all fishing, including recreational fishing, in U.S. waters. Combining commercial and recreational fishing into one user group would unduly penalize recreational fishermen and the sportfishing industry because only 1.5 percent of Pacific bluefin tuna are caught by U.S. anglers. Furthermore, according to the ASA, conservation measures implemented several years ago by the U.S. and the international organizations responsible for management of tuna—Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission ( WCPFC)—have had a positive effect on reducing fishing pressure. A decision on the ban is likely by this summer. ASA Fights for Fishing The ASA advocates for the full spectrum of recreational fishing issues, which recently include pushing for Everglades restoration funds and pushing against bad tuna regulations.

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