ASA President champions cause of tackle retailers at ICAST Online
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American Sportfishing Association (ASA) President, Glenn Hughes, championed the cause of independent retailers when he spoke to what he described today as ‘the largest audience of sport fishing industry professionals ever assembled’ .
Hughes dedicated much of his opening address at ICAST 2020 Online to retailers and their importance to the future of the industry.
Speaking in election year, Hughes said that regardless of the result, the ASA intends to have representation in government when fisheries policy is discussed, and that independent retailers need to be included in those discussions.
“Now more than ever, retailers play a huge role in the future of our sport. As product sales continue to climb and anglers look for information on product, how to fish and where to go fishing, retailers are the on-the-ground connection to engage these anglers.
“Retailers must understand the issues and have their voices and their customers’ voices heard when we talk about the politics of fishing. I believe that working together can make a difference for the future of fishing.”
Hughes took a thinly-disguised swipe at the politics regarding fishing in some states when he said: “To the governors that saw fishing as essential and stayed open, I say congratulations and thank you. Those states saw great growth in tackle and licence sales, while manufacturers and retailers sold product.
“To the states that closed down fishing, it will be a little while before you catch up with licence sales and for the manufacturers and retailers to make up for what they have lost.”
He added that while the ASA was hopeful a COVID-19 vaccine would be found, it also wanted the country to remain open, which meant anglers acting responsibly.
Hughes told Association members that it would continue to focus on what it saw as its five key ‘pillars’ – clean water, abundant fisheries, open access, trade and commerce and increased participation.