Anglers and boaters engage policymakers during ‘Center Focus on Washington’

The Center for Sportfishing Policy recently hosted its annual fly-in “Center Focus on Washington,” where recreational anglers and boaters participated in critical discussions with key policymakers over the two-day meeting held May 9-11. As in years past, the Center co-located its fly-in with the American Boating Congress (ABC) hosted by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).
Key issues for ABC and Center Focus participants included passing the Modern Fish Act to fix the Magnuson-Stevens Act; Ensuring robust public access to federally managed waters; Building on the successes of this Administration to relieve frustrations of anglers including red snapper management fixes, and many others. 
“Each year, the synergies of Center Focus and the American Boating Congress are more and more clear. The two events bring to Washington some of the most effective supporters of the recreational fishing and boating industry to advocate for better federal management,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. “It is an exciting time for recreational anglers and boaters who are finally seeing acknowledgment at the federal level of our sector’s economic and cultural value.”
During the ABC welcome luncheon on Wednesday, the Center honored Mike Nussman, former president and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), with its Eddie Smith Manufacturer of the Year Award. With more than 25 years of service to the recreational fishing industry, Nussman retired in April as president and CEO of ASA. He was honored for his dedication to the recreational fishing industry, and his commitment to angler access and marine conservation. 
“Mike Nussman has been a visionary leader for the recreational fishing community for decades, and we honor him today for his initiatives that will bear fruit for anglers and our industry for many years to come,” said Angers. “His leadership within the Center for Sportfishing Policy and his enthusiasm in promoting recreational fishing and boating has resulted in many victories for America’s anglers.”
The Eddie Smith Award was established by the Center to honor extraordinary commitment to conservation by manufacturers. An icon in marine manufacturing, Smith served on NMMA’s board; the International Game Fish Association board; the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation board, and many other leadership roles. Well known as the owner of Grady-White Boats, Smith received the first-ever ASA Lifetime Achievement Award and is a member of the NMMA Hall of Fame.
Past recipients of the award include AFTCO’s Bill Shedd; Bass Pro Shops’ Johnny Morris; Grady-White Boats’ Kris Carroll; Maverick Boats’ Scott Deal, Shimano’s Dave Pfeiffer and Yamaha’s Phil Dyskow.

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