Summit delegates told of five challenges facing US trade
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Five challenges facing the recreational fishing industry were outlined at the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) Summit earlier this month.
More than 220 fishing and boating industry and community leaders attended the trade’s premier networking and business management event – 40 for the first time – which was held just outside Stevenson, Washington.
During his opening remarks, ASA President Glenn Hughes said there were five challenges that currently impact the recreational fishing industry:
• Weather – a constant variable;
• The imposition of tariffs on products imported from China;
• Turbulence in the US Government;
• Trade and commerce issues surrounding water;
• Fisheries management and public access to water.
Hughes added that although fishing participation was up for a fifth year in a row – 49.1m to 49.4m – the number of those dropping out – the churn rate – is largely equal to new or returning anglers. “Retention continues to be an issue,” he said.
Using the 20/20 vision as a driver, the Board of Directors unanimously agreed to support a long-range planning initiative that will involve it and members of staff. “This new comprehensive strategic planning initiative is an important step to build upon the association’s strengths and create a framework to guide us in the coming years,” added Hughes.
“With a fresh vision, we can continue to be the best resource to our members and the entire recreational fishing community.”
During the Summit, the new Retail Committee met for the first time under the chairmanship of ASA Board member and owner of TackleDirect, Patrick Gill. It has been charged with understanding the challenges facing the independent retail sector with respect to the regional fisheries conservation and access issues that impact their business.
The Board has asked the committee and ASA staff to develop a region-by-region plan, focused on communications, to let retailers know that it is developing assets for them and that it wants to know their business issues and concerns.
The 2020 Sportfishing Summit will be held from October 12th to 15th at the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club, in Naples, Florida.