Fishing Industry News: Z-Man Pledges Research Support; Exemptions From Chinese Tariffs

In the latest fishing industry news, Z-Man pledges to support critical marine research and the NMMA says inflatable boats and some accessories are exempt from Chinese tariff increases.

Fishing Industry News: Z-Man Pledges Research Support; Exemptions From Chinese Tariffs

Z-Man Fishing is supporting marine research in its home state of South Carolina as well as in the Gulf of Mexico through the University of Florida as part of its commitment to conservation. (Photo: Z-Man Fishing)

In the latest fishing industry news:

For the people behind the scenes at Z-Man Fishing Products, taking caring of the fish and their habitat always has been a primary priority.

“Over the years, Z-Man chairman Jonathan Zucker and I have played active roles in fishery projects,” says Z-Man president Daniel Nussbaum. “We’re big fans of fishery scientists and the critical work they do to sustain quality fishing opportunities."

Highlighting its pledge to protect natural resources, Z-Man recently announced support of future fishery biologists at the University of Florida. The leading-edge tackle company will provide paid assistantships for three graduate students at University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) Nature Coast Biological Station in Cedar Key, Fla. Each graduate assistantship will provide a stipend and full tuition for a Master of Science student to conduct research focusing on improving the sustainability and management of recreational fisheries. In addition, the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences has agreed to provide matching funds to cover the tuition costs for each student.

Professor Micheal S. Allen, professor of fisheries and aquatic sciences and director of the UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station, said William Wolfson is first graduate student to be selected. Wolfson met Zucker and Nussbaum at this year’s ICAST show in Orlando. He is looking at ways to develop new hook designs that increase post-release fish survival — red drum, seatrout and snook, in particular.

The UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station, says Allen, lies at the epicenter of one of the most unspoiled marine shorelines in North America.

“Bordering the Gulf of Mexico, the Nature Coast represents almost one-million-acres of undeveloped land in Florida’s ‘big bend’ region,” he notes. “This is a wild, truly special area, largely comprised of forests, prairies and estuaries and nearly free of developed shorelines.

“With most of our work, we’re doing restorations of negatively impacted ecosystems,” he said. “But the Nature Coast remains relatively pristine, so our work here is all about helping identify management strategies that can preserve and improve a healthy ecosystem that still needs protection. Among our current projects is the study of oyster reef restoration, the importance of native sea grass for fish and wildlife and environmental factors affecting spotted seatrout populations. A lot of our work bears directly on the sportfishing community, and as anglers, we’re excited about that.”

Presently, Z-Man also is involved in fish management and research projects with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Marine Resources Research Institute, the South Carolina Aquarium and Project ReSpeck, an effort to restore native populations of speckled seatrout along the South Carolina coastline.

For more information about the Z-Man Graduate Research Assistantship program or the UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station visit their website at

NMMF on Tariff Exemptions

Inflatable boats and kayak paddles were among the 10 types of products that the Trump administration granted tariff exclusions for recently, a move applauded by the recreational boating industry.

Leading up to the decision, NMMA advocated for exempting the products from tariffs targeting $200 billion in Chinese imports — Section 301 List 3 — including working with stakeholders to apply for exclusions, filing comments in favor of the requests, and coordinating with elected officials to submit letters in support of the applications.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) formally established an exclusion process for Section 301 List 3 products in late June, following the administration’s decision to increase the tariff on the impacted items from 10-25 percent. USTR will continue accepting exclusion requests until close of business on Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, and NMMA strongly encourages all affected stakeholders to submit a request.

The Federal Register notice released by USTR provides detailed instructions for the exclusion process as well as the form to be used for submitting exclusion requests. USTR expects to receive 60,000 exclusion requests for List 3 products and will periodically announce additional tariff exclusion decisions as they are finalized.

Redfish Releases Ongoing in Red Tide-Ravaged Waters

Along with Duke Energy and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, CCA-Florida has released more than 34,000 juvenile and adult redfish this year including 10,000 last week in Port Charlotte on the southwest coast.

All of the fish were hatchery-reared and donated by the Duke Energy Mariculture Center in Crystal River. They were released into Florida waters hardest hit by red tide in recent years.

In May, 8,000 juvenile redfish were releases in the Panhandle, and another 10,000 in Port Charlotte in early August.

Each of the first eight releases included approximately 2,000 juvenile fish and 25 to 30 adult redfish. Locations were chosen specifically by the Duke Energy Mariculture Center biologists and releases began when waters were determined safe.

The snook initiative included the release of 5,000 juvenile snook, spawned in October 2018 at Mote’s Aquaculture Park in Sarasota. CCA Florida staff and members joined Mote scientists in April and June to measure, weigh and tag the juvenile snook with Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags. Releases took place in May and June, each consisting of approximately 1,500 fish and into Ainger Creek and Tippecanoe Environmental Park in Charlotte County.

NHL's Nashville Predators Hosting Bass Tournament Fundraiser

Professional anglers including 2019 Bassmaster Classic champion Ott DeFoe will be among the celebrities at the third annual Nashville Predators Fishing Tournament on Old Hickory Lake near Nashville.

The event is Sept. 6 and 7, with a check-in and meet-greet dinner on Sept. 6 and the tournament the following day. Anglers will fish from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m with a 2 p.m. weigh-in at Bass Pro Shops at Opry Mills. Bass Pro Shops and Guy Harvey are sponsors.

The tournament is raising money for the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by Twice Daily.

Along with DeFoe, other professional anglers include Timmy Horton of Alabama, Mike McClelland of Arkansas and David Walker of Tennessee. Current and former members of the Predators will be present at the lake.

Entry/boat fee for two-person teams is $250. Proof of boat insurance must be provided. For full information visit


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