During an event at the 2019 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and representatives of the recreational boating and fishing community – led by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) – signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), which seeks to develop and expand a framework of cooperation for planning and implementing mutually beneficial projects and activities to promote sustainable recreational fishing and boating conducted within federal marine waters, including national marine sanctuaries.
John Armor, Director of National Marine Sanctuaries for NOAA, Sam Rauch, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs for NOAA, and Frank Peterson, President and CEO of RBFF signed the MOA at a ceremony during the Miami International Boat Show, and were joined on stage by Thom Dammrich, President of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), and Glenn Hughes, President of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA).
“Recreational fishermen are some of our Nation’s most important conservationists. NOAA is excited about our continued collaboration with the recreational sector and the growing support for outdoor recreation as a driver of our Nation’s Blue Economy,” said RDML Timothy Gallaudet, Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Acting NOAA Administrator. “This agreement will strengthen the partnership with NOAA, ensuring that sustainable recreational fishing and boating continue to benefit coastal communities and enrich the lives of millions of Americans.”
“We are thrilled to enter this MOA with NOAA and the fishing and boating industry to increase angler recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) efforts that will allow recreation opportunities for children, youth and families,” said RBFF President Frank Peterson. “This partnership will not only help improve fishing and boating experiences overall, but also support the conservation of our marine aquatic resources. It will also help us meet our 60 in 60 goal to grow participation, which benefits the entire industry.”
“Recreational boating and fishing are not just critical economic drivers that support hundreds of thousands of domestic jobs, they are also cherished pastimes for millions of Americans,” said Thom Dammrich, President of NMMA. “Anglers and boaters are some of our country’s foremost conservationists, and we thank NOAA for working hand-in-hand with us to responsibly expand access to recreational saltwater fishing.”