Yesterday, American Game Fishing Association (ASA) Director of Southeast Fisheries Policy Martha Guyas appeared at a press conference on the steps of the old Florida State Capitol, urging the Florida state legislature to pass legislation enshrining the right to hunt and fish in the Florida state constitution (Florida HJR 1157; Florida SJR 1234).
“This legislation helps us maintain Florida’s sport fishing culture while promoting conservation and ensuring future access to our vibrant fisheries,” Guyas said. “People value what they understand, and the connection to nature that people gain while fishing helps anglers understand the importance of conservation to support healthy fishing and fishing opportunities.”
Guyas noted that more than 4.3 million anglers fish Florida each year, contributing nearly $14 billion in economic output and supporting more than 120,000 jobs.
Once both houses pass the resolution, voters will decide whether to amend the state constitution by adding language that states in part that fishing and hunting “shall be forever preserved as a public right and a preferred means of responsibly managing and controlling.” fishing and wildlife. ”
The press conference was organized by the International Order of Theodore Roosevelt (IOTR) and was attended by fishermen and hunters from Florida. Speakers included IOTR Executive Director Luke Hilgemann, Southeastern States Congressional Athlete Caucus Senior Chair Mark Lance, Florida State Senator Jason Brodeur (R-Sanford) and Florida State Representative Lauren Melo (R-Naples), who are the main sponsors of the respective resolutions
Guyas concluded his remarks by thanking Senator Brodeur and Representative Melo for their leadership on the legislation. Additional information about ASA’s efforts in Florida and Keep Florida Fishing, ASA’s Florida advocacy arm, can be found here.
The American Sport Fishing Association (ASA) is the trade association for the sport fishing industry committed to representing the interests of the sport fishing and boating industries, as well as the entire sport fishing community. We provide the industry and anglers with a unified voice when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect the sport fishing business or sport fishing itself. ASA invests in companies for the long term to ensure the industry remains strong and prosperous, as well as to safeguard and promote the enduring economic, conservation, and social values of America’s sport fishing. ASA also gives America’s 55 million fishermen a voice in political decisions that affect their ability to fish sustainably in our nation’s waterways through Keep America Fishing, our national fisherman advocacy campaign. America’s fishermen generate more than $50 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating jobs for 825,000 people.