In Case You Missed It - August 28, 2015 News

Our weekly coverage of the latest industry news, conservation notices and more.

Guatemala Sailfish Commission Partners with United Nations Development Programme

The Guatemala Sailfish Commission is partnering with The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and The Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) to develop strategic plans and projects for the protection of billfish in the region and for the development of a Big-Game Fish Tourism Industry for Guatemala. Read all about it here.

Volvo Penta Showcases Next-Generation V8 Marine Gas Sterndrive Engines

Volvo Penta unveiled its new family of next-generation 5.3L V8 gasoline engines for the marine sterndrive market in a press preview at the company’s Test Center in Suffolk, Va. “Volvo Penta has a rich history of innovation in marine propulsion, and with these next-generation V8s, we are establishing a new industry benchmark for acceleration, speed, weight-to-power ratio, fuel economy, emissions reduction and proven reliability,” said Ron Huibers, president of Volvo Penta of the Americas. Volvo Penta’s new marine engines are based on General Motors’ highly acclaimed Gen V platform. These next-generation engines introduce the most powerful combination of technical features never before offered in a marine V8 gas engine.

Dolphinfish Research Program Newsletter Out

See the latest findings and research in DRP's newsletter here.

Sanctuary Classic Fishing and Photo Contest Looks For Strong Finish With Labor Day Holiday Participation

The 2015 Sanctuary Classic Fishing Photo Contest is in full swing, encouraging responsible recreational fishing participation in our country’s National Marine Sanctuaries and rewarding the best photos submitted to www.sanctuaryclassic.org. Organizers report there have been many great photos entered, and the event looks to finish strongly as families relish the last few weeks of summer and the upcoming Labor Day Weekend — a great time for enjoying the Great Outdoors. This marks the fourth consecutive summer that The Sportfishing Conservancy, the Guy Harvey Oceans Foundation and NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries have worked together on the Sanctuary Classic. This free fishing and photo contest celebrates recreational fishing opportunities in America’s national marine sanctuaries while promoting ethical fishing practices. Since Independence Day, people have been entering fishing photos taken in any National Marine Sanctuary or adjacent waters for a chance to win a pair of Costa Sunglasses (valued at $250) each week. With this free contest running through Labor Day (Monday, September 7), there is still plenty of time for people to submit their great fishing photos. “This is the best time of the year to enjoy time on the water with family in our nation’s many Marine Sanctuaries,” said Sanctuary Classic Co-Coordinator, Jenny Armstrong. “The weather is great, the fishing is great, and taking a great photo to preserve the moment makes the experience even better. Why not enter the Classic — it’s easy, it’s free and it can be very rewarding. We usually receive a rush of pictures coming in at the end, so I encourage anglers not to wait till the last minute. We can’t wait to see your photos!” This year, the Sanctuary Classic is also partnering with Guy Harvey to help with lion fish eradication efforts. This invasive, fast-spreading species is causing damage to many natural marine ecosystems, and there are several ongoing programs educating and encouraging anglers to help remove them. To support these efforts, the Sanctuary Classic will award six autographed Guy Harvey T-shirts to contestants who submit photos of the most lion fish caught. Regular (non lion fish) Sanctuary Classic photo entries are being judged each week on the following themes: • Biggest (looking) Fish • Smallest (looking) Fish • Best Conservation Message • Guy Harvey Spirit * Most Family Oriented Photo • Most Unique Looking Fish • Largest Fish Compared to Angler • Best Display of Responsible Fishing Values At the conclusion of the Sanctuary Classic, one photo from each National Marine Sanctuary from a winning entrant will receive a $1,000 youth scholarship from the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. Winning photos will be those judged by a panel of judges including world-renowned artist Guy Harvey, to best represent the same criteria. Depending on entries received, there could be as much as $13,000 in scholarships awarded overall. Interested anglers and families can learn more about the 2015 Sanctuary Classic, including rules, regulations and how to enter photos, by visiting www.sanctuaryclassic.org. Those who want to learn more about America's extensive network of marine sanctuaries can do so by visiting www.sancuaries.noaa.gov.

Sportfishing Sportfishing Industry Association Appoints Policy Director for the Keep Florida Fishing Initiative

The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is pleased to announce that Kellie Ralston, a fifth generation Floridian and an expert in Florida’s marine fisheries management, has joined the ASA staff as Fishery Policy Director for the Keep Florida Fishing initiative. She joins Gary Jennings who is the Manager of the Keep Florida Fishing initiative’s coalition building efforts. Ralston’s tenure began on Monday, August 24, 2015. She will be based in Tallahassee, Florida’s state capitol. Kellie Ralston hr Kellie Ralston Florida Fishery Policy Director Last October, ASA’s board of directors determined that an initiative specific to Florida was needed to ensure that anglers and the industry’s priorities were taken into consideration when polices or decisions were made that impact recreational fishing in the number one recreational fishing state in the U.S. “Kellie has the experience and education that melds perfectly with our Keep Florida Fishing initiative’s fisheries policy goals and objectives,” said ASA VP for Government Relations Scott Gudes. “Kellie’s extensive experience working for and with Florida’s policy making process will have a positive impact on our efforts. In addition, her fisheries biology background is a great compliment to her policy experience since she knows very well what the science should be behind fisheries policy management decisions.” Ralston began her career working on Everglades’ restoration projects with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and on water quality and boating issues as an analyst for the Florida House of Representatives’ Water and Resource Management Committee. She has most recently worked as an analyst with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission where she has been involved in policy development and stakeholder coordination for the Division of Marine Fisheries Management. "I am excited to join the American Sportfishing Association and lend my expertise to the Keep Florida Fishing initiative," said Ralston. "As the ‘Fishing Capital of the World,’ Florida is an integral part of the fishing industry. Over the past decade, anglers and boaters have faced new challenges in fisheries management and maintaining access to pubic waters. I look forward to using my experience in state government and the legislative process to represent ASA’s interests as we focus our efforts on Florida to address these issues now and for the future." A fifth generation Floridian, Ralston’s love of nature and the outdoors began at an early age. Whether catching sunfish in the lakes or snakes in the woods, it was clear that she was most at home in Florida’s great outdoors. Ralston attended Florida State University (FSU) where she furthered her interest in the natural world and received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in biology. During this time, Ralston also worked with the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts, teaching middle school children about the marine environment with FSU’s Saturday-at-the-Sea program. Ralston and Jennings will work with ASA’s Government Affairs team and the Keep Florida Fishing initiative’s steering committee to identify and prioritize the current water, access and fisheries issues that the recreational fishing industry is facing in Florida. Ralston and her family call Tallahassee, Fla., their home.