The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) today announced the first grant to the recreational angling community in the Florida Panhandle from its Worldwide Anglers Relief Fund (WARF). Working with our partners at the National Association of Charterboat Operators (NACO), the IGFA has recently arranged the transfer of $10,000 from the WARF to aid in the recovery efforts of the extensive charter fishing operations throughout Florida’s Panhandle.
Leveraging NACO’s extensive network of members and a thorough application process, the funds from the WARF will be disbursed to those captains, guides and mates that are in the most need. “We are excited to partner with a longstanding organization like the IGFA to help our guiding community in the wake of Hurricane Michael,” said NACO President Bob Zales.
The IGFA and its partner Costa created the WARF in September 2017. “Recreational anglers, professional captains, guides and mates form the backbone of many coastal communities like the Florida Panhandle,” said Costa Marketing Manager of Core Markets, Amanda Sabin. “Costa is proud to be a part of this rebuilding process and helping to get people back on the water.”
With this recent distribution of $10,000 to NACO for relief efforts in the Florida Panhandle, the WARF has disbursed a total of $56,000 dollars to recreational angling associations in the Florida Keys, Texas, Puerto Rico and the Florida Panhandle to help local captains and guides recover from Hurricanes Irma, Harvey, Maria and Michael, respectively.
“The Florida Panhandle supports an incredible fishery and thousands of captains, guides and mates base their livelihoods on the flow of recreational anglers to this region,” said IGFA President Nehl Horton. “While we are saddened by the devastation of this recent storm, we are excited to help the recreational angling community rebuild even stronger through our partnership with NACO.”