Who we are: A coalition of fishermen that puts the fish first
The American Saltwater Guides Association (ASGA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit association of east-coast saltwater fishing guides, small tackle shops and manufacturers, and private anglers who find greater value in having access to abundant fish stocks in the water rather than harvesting to depletion. Our purpose is to advocate for state and federal fisheries management laws and regulations that ensure long-term sustainability for our treasured marine resources.
Although only incorporated in late 2018, ASGA has quickly emerged as a leader in promoting sensible, science-based management for certain species while also providing a much-needed recreational fishing perspective on broader fishery policy frameworks. We have been an outspoken advocate for strong management measures to help rebuild the overfished striped bass—including holding the recreational community to account to reduce the number of fish harvested. We have supported measures to improve the management of critical forage fish species such as menhaden. And we have developed key relationships with Congressional staffers, providing input on fisheries legislation including the upcoming reauthorization of the country’s federal fisheries law, the Magnuson-Stevens Act. In addition, to working on the policy front lines, ASGA has become a trusted resource and information clearinghouse for key news of interest to the recreational community.
COVID-19 is an existential threat to our young organization
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken our community to the core, threatening the health of fishery resources, the livelihoods of the folks we represent, and our future as a non-profit. This crisis has dealt a devastating blow to our global economy, and as an association that depends on donations to fund our efforts, we may not receive sufficient support to stay afloat. Our guides are seeing their income from fishing trip bookings vanish as many states have prohibited for-hire fishing trips. Tackle shops are similarly experiencing a devastating plunge in revenue, since many folks are choosing to stay home rather than to wet a line. This is all happening during the spring season that many guides and tackle shops rely on after the lean winter months. Lastly, there’s the resource itself: The waiving of fishery observer requirements on commercial vessels and the lack of recreational fishery data collection will leave a hole in catch information that could impact management efforts for many years.
We need your help
In recognition of the immense challenges non-profits like ours are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic, GoFundMe Charity has announced a new global day of giving on May 5, 2020. Called #GivingTuesdayNow, the charity will provide a $1,000 matching grant to non-profits that raise at least $1,000 from at least ten different donations. GoFundMe Charity has $300,000 in matching funds, which will be given to non-profits on a first-come, first-served basis.
We’re asking for your help as we try to be the lifeline for our community and maintain our operations during this challenging time. Donations will be used to support our efforts to ensure that guides and tackle shops receive the relief they need during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will also direct donations toward our committed fight for common-sense, science-based fisheries management both during the pandemic and after the dust has settled.
At ASGA, we’re not just advocates. We’re fishermen, too, and it’s heart-wrenching for us to watch the industry and the people we love struggle to make it through this dark time. Any support you may be able to provide would be immensely appreciated.
Please feel free to share this announcement widely through social media and other channels.