by George R. Scocca

(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association - December 1995 / January 1996 Newsletter)

The following appeared in the December 6 , 1995 issue of NOR’EAST SALTWATER in the Publisher’s Angle column written by Publisher George R. Scocca.

On December 1 and 2 I attended a meeting called by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) with the purpose of getting coastwide input from the recreational fishing community as to how to approach the future management of striped bass and bluefish. I have gone to many similar meetings over the years, but I have to say that I left this one with the feeling that we are finally going to get somewhere.

The ASA is a combination of tackle manufactures and recreational anglers that is taking a leading role in seeing to it that our wants and needs are recognized among the various fisheries management agencies which currently decide the fate of many of our marine resourses. Many have tried to accomplish this before, but the list of players that they have involved leads me to believe that this group will succeed where others have not.

I was most impressed with the representative of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, representing boat builders from Viking Yachts to Grady White. He gave his assurance that they were indeed on the side of the recreational angler. When you have these folks behind you. people are going to listen. And we were given a few instances where they are already to begin taking notice.

I was also impressed with the organization of many of the east coast states. Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland and Virginia were represented by various chapters of the Coastal Conservation Association. (A chapter is currently being organized in New York.) Thanks to the work of the ASA and Tom Fote of the Jersey Coast Anglers Association, all of these states seemed to be on the same page, something I have never seen before.

Everyone present was aware of the facts and problems surrounding the future management of our gamefish stocks and all recognized the need to stay united and present a unified attack. Our strength is in numbers and numbers we have. When you combine this with the organizational skills and motivation being provided by ASA, we begin to see a ray of hope for the future.

Thanks ASA. Thanks Tom Fote and thanks to all who are doing such a great job!

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