Alexandria, VA - August 3, 2010 - The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) commends Congress for passing and the President for signing the 2010 Supplemental Appropriations Act which includes much-needed assistance to help fisheries and recreational fishing-dependent businesses survive the fallout from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil leak disaster. The act, which provides funding for the BP disaster response, the nation's military efforts and other programs, was signed into law by President Obama on July 29, 2010.
ASA worked with Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), to include a key amendment in the bill that provides $15 million for fishery-dependent businesses harmed by the spill. The amendment also includes $10 million for an expanded stock assessment of the Gulf of Mexico fisheries, and $1 million for a National Academy of Sciences study of the long-term impacts of the oil spill on the Gulf's ecosystem. The sportfishing community also recognizes the assistance and leadership of Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). In the House, ASA worked with Chairman Alan Mollohan (D-WV) to assure this critical language was included in that chamber. ASA and the sportfishing community are grateful to these Congressional leaders and all members of Congress who supported this important amendment to the supplemental.
The bill also contains a provision that will provide an additional $13 million for responding to economic impacts on fishermen and fishery-dependent businesses in the event that the Oil Pollution Act and other measures are not sufficient to respond to the economic impacts on fishery dependent businesses.
"The fallout from the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has caused, and will continue to cause, a severe hardship to millions of people who depend on its fisheries resources for a living," said ASA Vice President Gordon Robertson. "Thousands of recreational fishing-dependent businesses in the Gulf are struggling to survive and we are thankful that Congress has stepped up to include assistance to help these businesses recover."
"While BP needs to be held accountable for damages resulting from its oil spill, additional financial resources are necessary," noted Robertson. "Additionally, the current lack of data for key fish stocks makes it difficult to forecast what effects the spill will ultimately have on the Gulf's fisheries resources. The studies provided for in this legislation will go a long way in helping us assess the damages and collect information about these resources."
ASA urges businesses that have been negatively impacted by the oil spill to apply directly to the BP for compensation. ASA also continues to update www.KeepAmericaFishing.org™ regularly with information about the oil disaster response and on filing claims for damages resulting from the oil spill.
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.