Dania Beach, FLA – With strong support from founding partner Costa Sunglasses, the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) today announced the creation of a Worldwide Anglers Relief Fund (WARF) designed to help speed the recovery of recreational angling communities around the world in the wake of major natural disasters.
IGFA and Costa have seeded the new fund with direct contributions totaling $25,000 and pledged to raise significant additional financial support through marketing and outreach to their members, customers and industry partners.
“Recent events clearly demonstrate the devastating impacts that catastrophic natural disasters can have on the international recreational angling community,” said IGFA President Nehl Horton. “Anywhere in the world, on any day, at any time, a thriving recreational fishery can be devastated in a matter of hours in a major natural disaster. And the people who are the foundation of those recreational fisheries - the captains, guides, crews and outfitters who depend on recreational fishing for their livelihoods - often find themselves in the center of the storm. When disaster strikes, we need to help our fellow anglers get back on the water as quickly as possible. We are deeply grateful to our longtime partners at Costa for their vision and leadership in supporting this effort. ”
“From the historic fisheries of the Florida Keys and Texas Coast, to the famed marinas of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, the hurricanes in recent weeks have deeply impacted some of our most beloved fishing communities”, said Holly Rush, CEO of Costa. “Professional fishermen are the backbone of these communities and an integral part of the Costa family. WARF will help bring them much needed relief as they rebuild.”
The WARF will accept donations from all those who want to help and make grants to local angling organizations and associations to speed recovery efforts aimed at captains, guides, mates and outfitters. Grant decisions will be made by IGFA in consultation with major WARF supporters and local representatives in impacted areas. Initial WARF grants will focus on supporting the hard hit angling communities of the Florida Keys, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean region, Cabo San Lucas and south Texas suffering from the recent impacts of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and Tropical Storm Lidia.