New Organization Creates a Voice for State’s Top Recreational Activities
KENNESAW, GA -- Yamaha joined forces with more than 30 South Carolina-based boating and fishing tackle manufacturers and marine dealerships to help form the new South Carolina Boating and Fishing Alliance (SCBFA). The SCBFA is dedicated to the protection and growth of the state’s burgeoning boating and fishing industry, and Yamaha is a charter member.
The SCBFA has four stated goals: Protect and expand the boating and fishing industry; connect the outdoors lifestyle to governmental economic development policies; promote workforce readiness; and environmental stewardship.
“Many boats manufactured in South Carolina are powered by Yamaha outboards and this is a tremendous opportunity for Yamaha to team up with the other members of the South Carolina Boating and Fishing Alliance. The alliance not only gives the boating and fishing industry a much needed voice at the state capitol, but more importantly promotes and protects the many natural treasures throughout the great state of South Carolina,” said John O’Keefe, Senior Specialist, Government Relations, Yamaha Marine U.S. Business Unit. “I’m confident the SCBFA will play a significant role in promoting the best conservation practices, also one of the cornerstones of Yamaha Rightwaters™, to ensure future generations will be able to enjoy the same fisheries we do today.”
Boating and fishing represent a combined $5.1 billion a year economic impact to South Carolina and support 23,000 jobs, according to merged data from the American Sportfishing Association® (ASA) and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA®), both of which have endorsed the SCBFA. South Carolina, the 23rd most populous state, has more than a half a million registered boats, and ranks 7th in the U.S. in boat ownership, with one in 10 South Carolinians owning a boat. In addition, 725,000 fishing licenses are held in South Carolina that contribute $6.7 million to the state budget annually.
“Few people realize that South Carolina is home to brand names known worldwide in boating and fishing,” said Gettys Brannon, CEO of the SCBFA. “South Carolina has the most unique economic mix of boating and fishing-related businesses in the United States, and the fact that they are here is a credit to our state. Yamaha supported us right out of the gate, and we are grateful for the support.”
“By any measure, time on the water, fresh and salt, is the top recreational activity in our state. Add to that the fact that we have some of the most iconic brands of boats and fishing tackle made here, and it just makes sense to give our industry and consumers a unified voice,” said Chris Butler, board chairman of the alliance and owner of authorized Yamaha dealership Butler Marine in Charleston and Beaufort.
Yamaha Rightwaters is a national sustainability program that encompasses all of Yamaha Marine’s conservation and water quality efforts. Program initiatives include habitat restoration, support for scientific research, mitigation of invasive species, the reduction of marine debris and environmental stewardship education. Yamaha Rightwaters reinforces Yamaha’s long-standing history of natural resource conservation, support of sustainable recreational fishing and water resources and Angler Code of Ethics, which requires pro anglers to adhere to principles of stewardship for all marine resources.
Yamaha Marine products are marketed throughout the United States and around the world. Yamaha Marine U.S. Business Unit, based in Kennesaw, Ga., supports its 2,400 U.S. dealers and boat builders with marketing, training and parts for Yamaha’s full line of products and strives to be the industry leader in reliability, technology and customer service. Yamaha Marine is the only outboard brand to have earned NMMA®’s C.S.I. Customer Satisfaction Index award every year since its inception.
REMEMBER to always observe all applicable boating laws. Never drink and drive. Dress properly with a USCG-approved personal floatation device and protective gear.