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ASA urges the Florida Legislature to support the rights of anglers

by American Sportfishing Association 19 Apr 23:45 UTC

Yesterday, American Sportfishing Association (ASA) Southeast Fisheries Policy Director Martha Guyas appeared at a press conference on the steps of the old Florida state Capitol, urging the Florida state legislature to pass legislation enshrining the Right to Hunt and Fish into the Florida state constitution (Florida H.J.R. 1157; Florida S.J.R. 1234).

"This legislation helps us maintain Florida's sportfishing culture while also promoting conservation and ensuring future access to our vibrant fisheries," said Guyas. "People value what they understand, and the connection with nature that people get while fishing helps anglers understand the importance of conservation to supporting healthy fisheries and fishing opportunities."

Guyas noted that more than 4.3 million anglers fish in Florida each year, contributing nearly $14 billion in economic output and supporting more than 120,000 jobs.

Once the resolution is approved by both chambers, voters will decide whether to amend the state constitution by adding language that states in part, fishing and hunting "shall be preserved forever as a public right and preferred means of responsibly managing and controlling fish and wildlife."

The press conference was organized by the International Order of Theodore Roosevelt (IOTR) and attended by Florida's anglers and hunters. Speakers included IOTR Executive Director Luke Hilgemann, Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus Southeastern States Senior Coordinator Mark Lance, Florida State Senator Jason Brodeur (R-Sanford) and Florida State Representative Lauren Melo (R-Naples), both of whom are the lead sponsors of the respective resolutions.

Guyas concluded her remarks by thanking Senator Brodeur and Representative Melo for their leadership on the legislation. Additional information on ASA's efforts throughout Florida and Keep Florida Fishing, ASA's Florida advocacy arm, may be found here.

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