Tallahassee, Florida --
The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) held its 2010 Sportfishing Summit in Fort Lauderdale in October. Nick Wiley, executive director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), welcomed the ASA board and members to Florida – The Fishing Capital of the World.
Wiley told the national group that Florida earned its name by having great resources that are managed responsibly. With 7,700 named lakes comprising more than 3 million acres of fresh water and 2,276 miles of tidal coastline, there is plenty of room for the more than 700 species inhabiting those waters. Wiley stressed the FWC’s role in managing those species for their well-being and the benefit of people.
ASA is the sportfishing industry’s trade association, which looks out for the interests of the sportfishing community by speaking out on emerging laws and policies that affect sportfishing businesses or angler interests. ASA represents the interests of America’s 60 million anglers, who generate more than $45 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation’s economy and create employment for more than a million people. The ASA began in 1933 and today includes among its members tackle manufacturers, retail dealers, advocacy groups, resource agencies and the outdoor media.
In Florida in 2006, those anglers spent $4.4 billion, which had an economic impact of $7.5 billion and supported more than 75,000 jobs for Floridians.
Wiley emphasized the importance of partnering and public input to the future of Florida’s living natural resources and the people who enjoy them. He encouraged partnerships with non-government conservation organizations, the non-profit sector and businesses to ensure that Florida remains the Fishing Capital of the World. The FWC is working through Get Outdoors Florida! and the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network (MyFWC.com/Youth) to create the next generation that cares.
The overall summit served to showcase the importance of recreational fishing to the quality of life that Americans enjoy and that angling remains a beloved national pastime and tradition. The past 12 months brought Florida a record cold snap, impacts from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and threats to our coral reefs and shorelines. Through it all Florida continued to work with its national partners and stakeholders in an effective manner to ensure its title of “Fishing Capital of the World.”