For Immediate Release
August 18, 2000

Marc Gaden

734-662-3209 ext. 14
Dan Green or Greg  Proteau, NMMA

Great Lakes Fishery Commission to Honor National Marine Manufacturers Association
Award to be presented August 28 in Chicago

Ann Arbor, MI — The Great Lakes Fishery Commission will honor the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) for its efforts to protect the Great Lakes fishery, to heighten communications about the value of sea lamprey control, and to build partnerships with other boating industry groups in support of our natural resources. The award will be presented to Mr. Thom Dammrich, President of NMMA, by Chicago Alderman Bernie Hansen(44th ward), the commission’s chairman.

The presentation will take place Monday, August 28, 2000 at 10:00 a.m. at NMMA’s headquarters, 200 East Randolph Street, Suite 5100, Chicago, Illinois. (NMMA’s headquarters is located in the Aon building, formerly the Amoco Building, phone: 312-946-6200).  Members of the media and the public are cordially invited to this presentation.

In 1997, noting the need for adequate sea lamprey control funding, NMMA joined with the Lake Erie Marine Trades
Association and the Michigan Boating Industries Association to support sea lamprey control and to communicate the benefits of a healthy fishery to U.S. legislators. The award to NMMA will acknowledge this partnership and honor their efforts to improve the valuable Great Lakes fishery.

“The commission is very pleased to partner with the boating industry in this critical effort to protect the Great Lakes fishery,” said Chairman Hansen. “Thanks to the National Marine Manufacturers Association and its partners, legislators in the United States have a better understanding of the sea lamprey problem and a greater appreciation for the environmental benefits of sea lamprey control.”

Hansen continued: “The Great Lakes fishery is stronger because of the sea lamprey control effort. Thanks to the help of stakeholders -- including the National Marine Manufacturers Association—the lakes are healthier then they were a few decades ago and we have been able to restore the ecosystem that has been so severely altered during the 20th century. The recognition that the commission will present on August 28 will honor NMMA’s efforts to protect our natural resources and will thank them for all they have done enhance the Great Lakes fishery for use today and for the future.”

Sea lampreys, which are native to the Atlantic Ocean, invaded the Great Lakes through shipping canals in the 1920s and
1930s. Sea lampreys are parasitic and are enormously destructive to Great Lakes fish. After invading the Great Lakes, sea lampreys reduced fish harvest dramatically, drove many Great Lakes fish species to near extinction, and contributed to a fishery severely out of balance.

Fortunately, the commission’s sea lamprey control program, which has been in place since the late 1960s, has reduced lamprey populations by 90%, keeping lamprey abundance to satisfactory levels. The sea lamprey control program allows management agencies to undertake fishery rehabilitation measures and to stock fish. Sea lamprey control has been a significant factor in the rapid growth of sport fishing in the Great Lakes since the 1960s and supports the valuable commercial fishing industry. The Great Lakes fishery is worth up to $4 billion annually to the people of the Great Lakes region.

For more information about sea lampreys and the commission’s program, visit the commission’s website at For more information about the National Marine Manufacturers Association, visit their website at