Recreation industry leaders, including representatives of the American Sportfishing Association and Keep Florida Fishing, gathered Monday for a roundtable discussion with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission focused on ways to work together to boost participation in outdoor activities through the recruitment, retention and reactivation of anglers – also known as the R3 initiative. During the discussion, panel members highlighted the importance of Florida’s recreational fishing industry, which provides $53.3 million to state conservation efforts through license fees and excise taxes on equipment and motor boat fuel.
“This open dialogue between the fishing and boating industry and the FWC highlights our great partnership to achieve increased participation in outdoor activities, including recreational fishing. By working together towards a common goal and through the R3 initiative of recruitment, retention and reactivation, we can have a stronger positive impact on the conservation of Florida’s natural resources,” said Mike Nussman, president and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association.
“We are going to pledge in front of everybody that at least 12 percent of our Sport Fish Restoration funds are going to be spent on R3,” said FWC Executive Director Nick Wiley during the FWC meeting.
“Thank you to the FWC for the tremendous job they do managing our natural resources and for hosting today’s roundtable discussion, which underscores the positive impact of Florida’s $9.6 billion sportfishing industry. Anglers are deeply invested in the wellbeing of our fisheries, making increased fishing participation a key conservation strategy, and we appreciate the FWC’s recognition of this important relationship,” said Dave Bulthuis, vice president of sales at costa del mar.
roundtable panelists included dave bulthuis, vice president of sales at Costa Del Mar; Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association; Mike Nussman, president and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association; Martin Peters, senior manager of marine communications and government relations at Yamaha Marine Group; Jeff Pontius, president and CEO of Zebco Brands; and K.C. Walsh, president of Simms Fishing Products. To view the full panel discussion, click here and go to Monday’s FWC meeting.
Florida is known as the “Fishing Capital of the World,” with more than three million anglers who support more than 128,000 jobs.