Global boat dealer and builder Yamaha Marine has teamed up with more than 30 South Carolina-based marine dealerships and boating and fishing tackle manufacturers to form the new S.C. Boating and Fishing Alliance, Yamaha said in a news release.
The alliance’s mission is to protect and expand the boating and fishing industry, connect the outdoors lifestyle to governmental economic development policies and promote workforce readiness and environmental stewardship.
By joining forces with South Carolina companies, Yamaha hopes to create a unified voice for the state’s industry and most popular recreational activity, the release said.
John O’Keefe, senior specialist for government relations with Yamaha Marine U.S. Business Unit, said few people realize just how many boats manufactured in the Palmetto State are powered by Yamaha outboards. He added that this collaboration provides an opportunity for Yamaha to build relationships with other members.
“The alliance not only gives the boating and fishing industry a much needed voice at the state capitol, but more importantly promotes and protects the many natural treasures throughout the great state of South Carolina,” O’Keefe said in the release. “I’m confident the SCBFA will play a significant role in promoting the best conservation practices, also one of the cornerstones of Yamaha Rightwaters, to ensure future generations will be able to enjoy the same fisheries we do today.”
Yamaha Rightwaters is a national sustainability program that encompasses all of Yamaha Marine's conservation and water quality efforts.
Each year in South Carolina, boating and fishing combine to make a $5.1 billion economic impact. The industry also supports 23,000 jobs, according to data from the American Sportfishing Association and the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
South Carolina has more than half a million registered boats and ranks 7th in the United States in boat ownership, equating to roughly 1 in 10 people owning a boat, the release said. In total, the 725,000 fishing licenses held by South Carolinians contribute $6.7 million to the state budget each year.
S.C. Boating and Fishing Alliance CEO Gettys Brannon said Yamaha has supported the state’s boating and fishing industry for a long time and he is grateful for the company’s continued support.
“Few people realize that South Carolina is home to brand names known worldwide in boating and fishing,” Brannon said. “South Carolina has the most unique economic mix of boating and fishing-related businesses in the United States, and the fact that they are here is a credit to our state.”