Fishing Industry News: Mercury Trims Workforce; Anglers More Diverse Than Ever

In the latest fishing industry news, Brunswick has trimmed its Mercury Marine workforce and a new report shows nationwide diversity among anglers is greater than ever.

Fishing Industry News: Mercury Trims Workforce; Anglers More Diverse Than Ever

Here is some of the latest fishing industry news:

Brunswick Corporation has announced further reductions to help drive greater efficiency and reduce the annual operating costs of its Marine businesses — both boat and engine — by an estimated $30 million to $35 million.

This follows the June 2019 announcement of the streamlining of corporate support functions related to the sale of its Fitness business. Nine percent of its global salaried workforce was cut as part of the plan.

“These actions will reduce cost in our marine operations and are consistent with the right-sizing of our corporate functional support organization announced last month,” said Brunswick Chief Executive Officer David M. Foulkes. “Together, these enterprise-wide programs will result in a reduction of approximately $50 million in annual run-rate costs, due in large part to a nine percent reduction in our global salaried workforce. These actions are designed to ensure that Brunswick is able to continue to aggressively invest in business transformation and growth initiatives across a broad range of potential economic and marine market scenarios.”

The latest moves include the planned establishment of a leaner operating structure within Brunswick’s boat businesses, which will enable the Company to more easily leverage synergies in certain areas of the business. This structure also will facilitate further initiatives to reduce both indirect and direct costs to take better advantage of Brunswick’s scale in market-facing organizations.

Similarly, Mercury Marine, Brunswick’s engine division, has taken actions across its global propulsion and P&A businesses to streamline operations while continuing to invest in additional capacity for high horsepower engines, new product development and advanced technologies.

America's Anglers More Diverse: Report

America’s anglers are more diverse than ever according to a key finding of the 2019 Special Report on Fishing, released in July 2019 by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF).

Women and Hispanics are casting their lines in record-breaking numbers, with 17.7 million and 4.4 million participants, respectively.

“It’s often assumed that all anglers look alike,” says Stephanie Vatalaro, RBFF’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications. “Our mission is to welcome everyone to the water — because if you want to learn to fish, you should have that opportunity no matter who you are. And while our work isn’t over, it’s clear from these results that the tides are changing.”

In addition to record-breaking diversity, other highlights include:

  • 49.4 million Americans participate in fishing annually.
  • Americans go fishing a cumulative 883 million days annually, or 17.9 days each year per person.
  • More non-anglers than ever, 33.9 million people, are interested in trying fishing.
  • Parents are 45 percent more likely to go fishing than adults without children.
  • More than 3 in 4 anglers view fishing’s environmental benefits as one reason they participate in the activity.

RBFF’s diversity initiatives include its #WomenMakingWaves social media movement and its George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar™ Education Fund.

Created in partnership with The Outdoor Foundation, the Special Report on Fishing provides one of the most comprehensive looks at the state of U.S. fishing and boating participation. The full report is available at the RBFF Resource Center.

Fly Fishing Trade Association Hits Milestone

The American Fly Fishing Trade Association has achieved a tremendous milestone, eclipsing the 1,000-member mark.

Research over the last handful of years has shown that the number of participants in fly fishing has been growing at a steady pace. From the introduction of diverse new businesses and products to the growth of more established brands to the increased engagement of our community in environmental- and trade-related issues, the industry is wholeheartedly answering that call.

“The year I joined AFFTA as the president, we might’ve had 250 members and we used to have to beg to get people to run for the Board,” AFFTA president Ben Bulis said. “It has been the hard work and commitment of our Board and staff that has helped us reach this point. Day-in and day-out, year after year ensuring that our industry has a strong, unified voice on issues that are vital to our livelihoods. And it’s the dedication of our entire industry to the health of their business, our fisheries and welcoming more people to our sport that inspires us as an Association to do what we do. I could not be more proud of this community.”

AFFTA represents specialty retailers, manufacturers, reps, distributors, guides, lodges, outfitters, media professionals and more in the fly fishing industry across the country. The Association hosts the International Fly Tackle Dealer show (IFTD), the largest fly fishing industry trade show in the world, scheduled Oct. 16-18 in Denver, as well as the retail education-focused Dealer Summit. AFFTA also administers the Fisheries Fund, their granting arm that supports local- to national-level projects and organizations focused on fisheries conservation and education.

Title Requirement Helps Boat Owners, Some Claim

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ recent signing of a recreational boat title bill, the Uniform Certificate of Title Act (HB 475/S 676), offers recreational boat owners valuable consumer protections and may spur other states to follow suit, says Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS).

The legislation protects consumers from unwittingly purchasing a stolen or storm-tossed boat that has suffered significant hurricane damage by creating a uniform boat titling system that is recognized nationwide as well by the U.S. Coast Guard. Boats that are repaired and later put up for sale will now have titles clearly labeled as such.

“While all states have motor vehicle title laws, these do not apply to recreational boats,” explains BoatUS Manager of Government Affairs David Kennedy. “This legislation institutionalizes several consumer protection mechanisms that are already commonplace for motor vehicles. These include clear labeling of significant structural damage on vessel titles, creating a uniform system to identify legitimate vessel owners/lien-holders, and better ways to prevent the sale of stolen boats.”

Added Kennedy, “By ‘branding’ the titles of vessels that suffer significant damage, buyers will be made aware of material information that could affect a vessel’s condition. It’s not designed to stop a sale. It’s to give buyers the true condition of the vessel they are interested in purchasing and helps them make smart purchases.”

While the legislation offers benefits to boaters residing in Florida due to the high number of boats there, it also has repercussions beyond the state’s borders. Florida is ranked No. 1 in the nation for recreational boat registrations with 918,255 registered vessels, according to the most recent U.S. Coast Guard data available.

“With a boat registered in Florida that’s later moved to another titled state and sold, the new owner will also benefit from knowing the boat’s history,” Kennedy said. “And it will be much harder to unload boats that are stolen in Florida and later fraudulently sold out of state.”

BoatUS advocated for the new law, which is based on model legislation developed by the Uniform Law Commission. Currently, 10 states still do not issue vessel titles, making it easier for thieves to sell a stolen boat using a fraudulent bill of sale or forged registration document. BoatUS supports uniform boat titling in all states.

Association of Collegiate Anglers Sets 2020 Season

The Association of Collegiate Anglers has set the 2020 schedule for the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series.

The four major events, which will be televised, will be counted as double point events towards the prestigious Bass Pro Shops School of the Year race.

The dates for the 2020 season:

  • Texas Lunker Challenge presented by Mossy Oak Elements - February 23 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir - Jasper, Texas
  • Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash Presented by Berkley - March 14-15 - Kentucky Lake - Paris, Tenn.
  • BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship Presented by Bass Pro Shops - May 21-22 - Pickwick Lake - Florence, Ala.
  • AFTCO Bass Fishing Open - October 10-11 - Lake Dardanelle - Russellville, Ark,.

"We always want to get more anglers on the water and to create more opportunities for collegiate anglers," said Wade Middleton, Director of the ACA and President of CarecoTV. "That's been our goal since our first college fishing event on Lake Lewisville, and will be our focus once again at all the events we support ranging from the major televised events all the way down to small school-run events." 

Iaconelli To Host 4th Annual Celebrity Pro-Am Bass Tournament

Team Toyota angler Mike Iaconelli will host his annual weekend of fun and fundraising at the 2019 Ike Celebrity Pro-Am Bass Tournament, on his home waters of the Delaware River near Camden and Glouster City, N.J.

The 4th annual event is scheduled for Aug. 8-10 and begins with fundraising at “Ike’s Casino Night in the City” on Aug. 8 hosted at Yard’s Brewery. Supporters can enjoy music, casino tables and great auction items. The cost is $90 per person and includes $200 in casino chips, along with food and drink.

Friday will feature the Pro-Am pairings meeting amid happy hour at the Crowne Plaza in Cherry Hill, N.J. where “Ike Live” will be broadcast. Saturday morning, anglers will fish from kayaks and full-sized bass boats.

The kayak division is a Hobie Tournament of Champions qualifying event. All public fishing waterways in Camden and Glouster counties are in bounds. Iaconelli and other top pros including Bobby Lane and Jacob Powroznik, along with former Philadelphia Eagles’ wide receiver Freddie Mitchell and UFC fighter Gregor Gillespie, compete the same day with their amateur partners on the Delaware River.

The winner of the bass boat division will leave with a new Bass Cat Boat powered by a Yamaha Outboard. The winner of the kayak division will get a berth to the Hobie Tournament of Champions. Several other top prizes will also be given away from brands including Lowrance, Power-Pole, RS nets, Flambeau and RAM Mounts.

Perhaps the most meaningful part of the weekend also takes place Saturday at Camden’s Waterfront Park when roughly 1,000 kids typically arrive to receive a Free Flambeau tackle box, along with free tackle as they navigate through Fun Fest and learn about fishing.

Money raised from the event will benefit the Ike Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Mike and Becky Iaconelli, with the goal of exposing both urban and rural children to fishing, as well as to provide academic scholarships to five college-bound high school seniors annually.

For more information, visit www.TheIkeFoundation.org or call (856) 712-2328.


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