SOLDOTNA, Alaska -- “The economic value of recreational fishing is significant because along with dockside businesses benefiting, it drives people to spend money on fuel and lodging or camping during their trip to wherever they are fishing,” said U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, during the 2014 Kenai Classic Roundtable on National Recreational Fishing, which took place Aug. 20 at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Co-Chair of the U.S. Senate Oceans Caucus, joined Sen. Begich, and four panelists for the Roundtable in a discussion about recreational fishing and the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA).
Currently MSA primarily addresses commercial fishing in federal waters. While it provides a management process for commercial fishing, it lacks a focus on recreational fishing. According to the data provided by the National Marine Fisheries Service, the recreational sector has an economic impact nationally that is equal to, if not greater than, that of commercial fishing.
Begich chairs the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, which is responsible for MSA reauthorization. His subcommittee is diligently working to hone its MSA reauthorization language after receiving feedback about the discussion draft. Both senators expressed their commitment to move deliberately and rapidly to reauthorize MSA.
“Senators Murkowski and Begich understand fisheries because their state depends upon both commercial and recreational anglers,” said Martin Peters, Manager, Government Relations, Yamaha Marine Group. “Our task as an industry is to make sure all members of Congress understand the economic impact of recreational fishing, not just in coastal communities, butin every state in the U.S. Everyone in the industry - dealers, boat builders and suppliers - must work to make this happen.”
Yamaha Marine strongly supports “A Vision for Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries,” which calls for commonsense saltwater fisheries management and requests that the reauthorization of MSA specifically address the economic, social and conservation needs of the recreational fishing industry while differentiating its needs from those of the commercial sector. The Commission on Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Management chaired by Johnny Morris, founder and CEO, Bass Pro Shops, and Scott Deal, president, Maverick Boats, released the Vision document earlier this spring.
“As a sponsor of the Roundtable along with the Kenai River Sportfishing Association (KRSA) and in conjunction with the Kenai River Classic, Yamaha Marine is proud to be a part of the process that we believe will lead us to an MSA reauthorization that properly recognizes the recreational sector,” said Peters.
To view a video news release about the 2014 Kenai Classic Roundtable on National Recreational Fishing, please visit http://youtu.be/nZz8LIKBgAk. Panelists included Thom Dammrich, President, National Marine Manufacturers Association®; Patrick Murray, President, Coastal Conservation Association; Michael Nussman, President and CEO, American Sportfishing Association®, and moderator, Phil Dyskow, Immediate Past President, Yamaha Marine Group.
The full-length video of the Roundtable and a transcript will be available soon from the KRSA. Please contact Yamaha Marine Group for more information about these materials, or email info@KRSA.com.