New ASA Survey Shows Grim Results

#Businesses related to and dependent upon recreational fishing continue to suffer the brutal financial consequences of the Gulf Oil leak as recreational anglers keep their lines out of the Gulf of Mexico. The latest survey in a series commissioned by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) indicates that 78 percent of the businesses questioned stated that their sales were down in the first half of June 2010 compared to the same period last year. The average business downturn is 56 percent. Seventy-six percent of the businesses surveyed said they would not survive without financial assistance.

In Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama every business surveyed said business was down for the first half of June. "A business cannot survive these levels of sustained losses," said Scott Frnka, Cabela's vice president for Merchandising. "Congress and the administration need to act swiftly to implement a disaster relief payment process that is fast and efficient."

"The businesses that support their families by servicing the $41 billion recreational fishing industry in the gulf, have their futures threatened due to no fault of their own," said Pure Fishing's President and CEO John Doerr. "It is critical that funds get distributed to these individuals quickly and it is imperative that the payments are fair and cover not only their lost profits but their fixed operating costs as well."

On May 27, the Senate approved its 2010 Supplemental Appropriations bill which included $15 million for fishery-dependent businesses harmed by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil leak. ASA has sent a letter urging the House of Representatives to follow suit and ensure that relief funds for recreational fishing-dependent businesses are included in its 2010 Supplemental Appropriations bill.

"The sportfishing industry urges Congress and the Administration to do everything possible to assure expeditious claims processing for BP funds as well as any Congressionally-appropriated moneys," said ASA Vice President Gordon Robertson. "Jobs, economic health and a generations-long way of life are at stake. The public can do their part as well by taking that fishing trip to the Gulf. After all, two-thirds of the Gulf remains open for business."

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