Since 2013, the Classic Roundtable has been convened to address national issues related to the recreational fishing industry and how they can be best addressed at the local, statewide and national level. KRSA in conjunction with event sponsor Yamaha Marine brings national and state experts to Soldotna to discuss current hurdles and opportunities facing the industry and to formulate a long-term plan to confront the challenges while supporting the opportunities that exist.
America’s 11 million saltwater anglers spend $26.5 billion each year on fishing equipment, tackle, apparel and travel, creating 455,000 American jobs, generating $20.5 billion in income and contributing $70 billion to the American economy. According to government data, recreational fishing contributes more to the economy than many other industries that are more prominent in the public eye.
A topic at the forefront for both sport and commercial fishing interests is current and prospective management measures for the national marine fisheries. The Classic Roundtable brought together U.S. Senators Murkowski and Sullivan and distinguished panelist to discuss what current measures are, how they can improve management, where they are being used and how they may be integrated into the national fisheries management toolbox.
A consistent message from the roundtable is that current practices and regulations were created for commercial fishing, which was the dominant economic use at the time that current management techniques were adopted through the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA).
Over time, sportfishing has become a large economic driver in many communities, states and for the nation. As congress looks to reauthorize the MSA, it is important to consider the sportfishing community and adopt management methods that recognize the importance of sportfishing and are tailored specifically for it.