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Fishing takes center stage this week - MarineBusinessWorld North America newsletter

by Peter Rendle 15 Nov 2023 12:00 PST
ASA Atlantic Fisheries Policy Director Mike Waine speaks out on Atlantic boating speed restrictions © American Sportfishing Association

On November 9, members of Congress and their staff heard from American Sportfishing Association (ASA) Atlantic Fisheries Policy Director Mike Waine about how a proposed National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) rule could severely restrict boating access along the Atlantic Seaboard.

Waine's presentation was part of a briefing put together by the bipartisan Congressional Boating Caucus. NOAA's proposed changes will not meaningfully improve protections for the North Atlantic right whale, put boater safety at risk, raise privacy concerns, severely limit boater access to the Atlantic Ocean, and will significantly harm coastal economies and livelihoods.

The National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA) is proud to announce an expanded relationship with the ASA at its upcoming 2024 'Passion to Profession' NPAA Conference in Ft. Myers, Florida, January 5 - 7, 2024. (Discounted pre-registration rates are currently in effect but limited capacity is filling up fast.)

"For all of us working to earn a living in the sportfishing industry, networking is critical, and building the relationship between NPAA's diverse membership and ASA is an effective networking strategy. Individual anglers cannot lobby for the future of the sport on their own. They must become part of this larger network," says NPAA President, Pat Neu.

But not forgetting sailing: The 54th edition of the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) Annual Meeting began on November 10 and lasts through November 14 in Malaga, Spain. This event features meetings of the ORC's Management, Promotion and Development, Offshore Classes and Events, Measurement, and Rating Officers Committees, culminating in the meeting of the ORC Congress on November 14. The meeting's Schedule, Submissions and Agendas are all found online.

Takeovers: The Wichard Group has acquired Australian equipment manufacturer Ronstan, strengthening its leading position in the leisure marine equipment and manufacturing markets.

The Wichard Group, which specialises in the design, manufacture and distribution of products for the marine OEM, aftermarket and industrial markets, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Ronstan, a leading Australian manufacturer of high-quality sailing equipment, industrial and architectural products. This strategic acquisition strengthens the Wichard Group's position as a world leader in the deck fittings sector, while expanding its product portfolio and offering significant growth opportunities in global markets.

Founded in 1953 by Ron Allatt and Stan Lenepveu and headquartered in Braeside, Victoria, Ronstan is renowned for its expertise in the design and manufacture of blocks, winches, track systems and other essential equipment for sailing, boating and water sports. The company has a strong reputation for high-quality, innovative and high-performance products, making it an ideal partner for the Wichard Group.

Expansions: In an effort to better serve a growing number of customers and boat manufacturer partnerships in the United States, Hertz Marine, the renowned Italian producer of marine audio systems and equipment, announced today that its products will now come from the company's U.S. distribution center located in Nashville.

The company's products, including radio control units, speakers, and amplifiers - all specifically designed for the marine environment - will be housed in a 27,000 square-foot facility. Hertz's marine audio offerings will share space with the Lavoce loudspeaker, a second brand of its parent company, Elettromedia Corporation. This collaboration follows Elettromedia's opening of the U.S. distribution facility in Nashville earlier this year.

New Products: Sea-Fire and Fireaway have entered into an agreement to introduce US Coast Guard-approved fixed aerosol fire suppression systems into the marine market under the Sea-Fire AT-series label. Exceptionally compact, the devices are ideal for compartments and spaces containing lithium-ion batteries, or areas that cannot accommodate a traditional fire suppression system, such as generator or compact engine compartments.

Manufactured in the USA, the Sea-Fire AT-series systems feature a patented detection mechanism that automatically discharges the highly effective aerosol agent when ambient temperatures reach fire conditions. The container incorporates double-walled stainless-steel construction rugged enough for nearly all applications. The housing is non-pressurized and sealed with a non-permeable membrane that ruptures upon activation. Upon release, the space is filled with the aerosol that quickly suppresses the fire. The device can also be activated manually.

People news: National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) announced today the hire of Robyn Boerstling as senior vice president of government relations. As chief advocate, Boerstling will oversee the Association's advocacy efforts at the federal, state, and international levels of government on behalf of the $230 billion U.S. recreational boating industry, reporting to Frank Hugelmeyer, NMMA president. Boerstling officially joins the organization on December 1 and is based in NMMA's Washington, D.C. headquarters.

"We are thrilled to welcome Robyn to the NMMA team and to the recreational boating industry. She brings extensive association experience and an impressive track record of strategically navigating challenging public policy on behalf of leading manufacturers," said Hugelmeyer. "She is a strong and highly collaborative leader who will nurture our team and ensure the growth and success of recreational boating."

Boat Fix, a recreational boating telematics company that provides customized solutions for the boating industry through a combination of remote monitoring, GPS tracking, sophisticated geofencing and 24/7 live customer support, announced today the hire of Carl Blackwell to the newly created role of Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).

More Marine Industry News, updated daily, at

Stay Positive!
Peter Rendle -

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