Massive oil spill threatens the region’s $41 billion marine sportfishing industry
April 30, 2010 – Alexandria, Va. – The American Sportfishing Association (ASA), in response to the oil spill caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico this week, announced that it is calling upon federal and state officials to act swiftly and diligently to mitigate the effects of the oil spill, which continues to release thousands of barrels of oil a day. The spill poses a severe threat to the Gulf of Mexico’s marine fishery resources and sportfishing industry.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of the 11 crew members who lost their lives during the Deepwater Horizon explosion,” ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman said. “On behalf of the ASA Board of Directors and staff, we express our sincere condolences on this tragic loss.”
Nussman further said, “Recreational fishing contributes $41 billion dollars in economic output in the Gulf Coast region annually and supports over 300,000 jobs. A disaster of this magnitude will certainly significantly impact the ability of anglers to get out on the water and for businesses to thrive,” Nussman said. “While the impact on recreational fisheries and wildlife is impossible to gauge at this time, everything must be done to clean up this massive spill and measures must be put in place to ensure that something like this does not happen again.”
The Gulf of Mexico is one of the most popular areas for recreational fishing in the United States with nearly six million saltwater anglers taking over 45 million fishing trips each year, fishing for red drum, spotted seatrout, sheepshead and red snapper among others. The oil spill has the potential to impact the nearly 2,300 tackle shops in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and the West Coast of Florida. Recreational fishing serves as the economic backbone for many coastal communities surrounding the Gulf of Mexico.
Nussman concluded, “The sportfishing industry is dependent upon healthy and abundant fisheries resources, and this massive spill seriously threatens the Gulf ecosystem and the thousands of businesses that are dependent upon its health. We urge local, state and federal officials to do everything in their power to mitigate the damage from this disaster to marine and coastal habitat to help maintain and rebuild healthy fish populations.”
The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association, committed to looking out for the interests of the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry a unified voice speaking out when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. We invest in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic and conservation values of sportfishing in America. ASA also represents the interests of America’s 60 million anglers who generate over $45 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for over one million people.
Contact: Mary Jane Williamson, ASA, 703-519-9691, x227, [email protected]