Johnny Morris, Scott Deal: 2014 Manufacturers of the Year

May 12, 2014

The Center for Coastal Conservation has honored recreational fishing industry titans and conservation champions Johnny Morris and Scott Deal with its Eddie Smith Manufacturer of the Year Award.

Morris, the president and founder of Bass Pro Shops and Deal, the president and co-owner of Maverick, Hewes, Pathfinder and Cobia Boats, were presented the award after serving as co-chairmen of the Commission on Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Management (Morris-Deal Commission) and for championing the conservation of America’s marine resources throughout their careers.

The Morris-Deal Commission, a blue-ribbon panel of fisheries managers, conservationists, economists and policy makers, produced the landmark report “A Vision for Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries” released in earlier this year.

“These two men are at the intersection of the politics of saltwater fish and implementation of sound marine fisheries management,” said Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufactures Association during the presentation. “They have led America’s recreational fishing and boating community in laying out the appropriate vision for good conservation and management.”

“A Vision for Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries” calls on federal fisheries law and policy makers to sustain and strengthen marine recreational fishing as Congress works toward reauthorizing the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

“It’s an honor to recognize both of these men for their leadership throughout their careers and especially over the last year in heading the effort to ensure our nation’s fisheries laws and policies reflect the important role that recreational saltwater fishing plays in America’s culture, quality of life and economy,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Coastal Conservation.

The Eddie Smith Manufacturer of the Year award was established by the Center to honor extraordinary commitment to conservation by manufacturers. An icon in marine manufacturing, Smith served on the boards of NMMA; Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation; International Game Fish Association; Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council, and the Sport Fishing Institute. He was instrumental in founding the Coastal Conservation Association of North Carolina. Well known as the owner of Grady White Boats, Smith received the first-ever ASA Lifetime Achievement Award and is a member of the NMMA Hall of Fame.

“Lawmakers on Capitol Hill and fisheries policy makers across the country have recognized the importance of the Morris-Deal recommendations and are working to develop and incorporate these recommendations into efforts to revise the Magnuson-Stevens Act,” said Angers. “None of this would have been possible without the leadership of Mr. Morris and Mr. Deal,” Angers said.

Past recipients of the award include Grady White Boats’ Kris Carroll and Yamaha’s Phil Dyskow.

The Center for Coastal Conservation brings under a single umbrella the leading advocates for marine recreational fishing and boating. The organization promotes sound conservation and use of America’s ocean resources by backing federal legislators who support its goals. For more information, visit CoastalConservation.US.