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By August 2, 2018 Read More →

Boating and Fishing Industries Focus on AIS

Leaders from the boating and fishing industries recently formed the Boating and Fishing Aquatic Invasive Species Coalition. The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) led its formation and hosted the first meeting.

Both the NMMA and the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) have recently published position papers on AIS and strongly support efforts and programs to control and manage AIS (NMMA position, ASA postion).

FLI Watercraft Steward Daniel Munsell helps a boater inspect watercraft for any hitchhiker organisms.

Specifically, the groups support Clean, Drain and Dry as well as Stop Aquatic Hitchhiker initiatives such as the Finger Lakes Institute’s Watercraft Steward Program.

The boating industry is moving to modify watercraft designs to reduce the spread of AIS. Pontoon boat manufactures have widely adopted a number of changes including welding hull strakes shut, increasing the size of drainage ports and improving deflectors to prevent weeds from catching on the vessel.

Now the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) is preparing to publish a new set of design standards to further fight the spread of AIS. These design changes inlcude:

  • Raising the hull, giving the boat a self-draining aspect while still in the water.
  • Placing the jet intake on the boat’s exterior, allowing it to be flushed more effectively with hot water and making the process faster and less difficult.
  • Create a “closed” engine cooling system. A side benefit is winterizing at season’s end would be quicker and less expensive.

According to Brian Goodwin, technical director for ABYC, forging a consensus for the boat redesign reccomendations “was a big accomplishment. The biggest fact is that we can help the industry – in particular, the boat and engine manufacturers – design or retrofit their products to help reduce the spread of AIS by lowering the amount of water residue on a boat once it leaves a lake or river.”

Focusing all stakeholders on fighting the spread of AIS is crucial for success.

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