ASA honours former US President
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Top representatives from North America’s sportfishing industry and conservation leaders met with former President George H.W. Bush to honour his lifelong efforts to conserve fisheries and their habitat.
The delegation, led by Bass Pro Shops Founder, Johnny Morris, met with Bush at his home in Kennebunkport, Maine, a week after he celebrated his 90th birthday.
The American Sportfishing Association’s (ASA) President and CEO, Mike Nussman, presented Bush with the inaugural KeepAmericaFishing™ Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of the recreational fishing industry and the nation’s 60 million anglers. Launched by the ASA in 2010, KeepAmericaFishing was established as a way for anglers to get involved in advocating for clean water, abundant fish stocks and plenty of places to go fishing.
This is the second time Bush has been recognised by the ASA. He was the first ever winner of the association’s Fisherman of the Year Award in 1986.
“During his administration, President Bush, an ardent angler and outdoorsman, was responsible for signing into law some of the most important legislation ever drafted to conserve our nation’s fisheries and their habitat,” said Nussman. “Today, the sportfishing industry and anglers recognised his lifelong commitment to America’s natural resources with the first KeepAmericaFishing Lifetime Achievement.”
Nussman added: “What most people don’t know is that when Bush was Vice President, he played a key role in assuring the passage of the 1984 amendments to the Sport Fish Restoration Act – an action second only to the original’s Act’s passage in 1952. When President, Bush came to the rescue of the Act in 1991, making sure that the Office of Management and Budget did not divert any of the Trust Fund’s monies from their intended purpose of supporting sport fisheries conservation and habitat restoration.
“He played a key role in ensuring the future of recreational fishing.”
During the meeting Morris announced that Bass Pro Shops was presenting a $125,000 gift in President Bush’s name to the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) for its Hispanic angling and boating participation campaign, ‘Vamos a Pescar’.
• Currently Congress is revising the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the law that governs America’s national and marine resources. Johnny Morris and Scott Deal, President of Maverick Boats, and Chairman of the Commission on Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Management, are currently seeking to ensure that the sport becomes a priority of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service.