In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, which devastated parts of Florida, and other natural disasters, two of the best known names in fishing have teamed up to create an international rescue fund to speed the recovery of stricken angling communities. Costa Sunglasses and the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) have announced the creation of the Worldwide Anglers Relief Fund (WARF) and donated $25,000, pledging to raise significant additional financial support through marketing, donations from its members and customers and industry partners.
“Recent events clearly demonstrate the devastating impacts that these events can have on international recreational angling,” said IGFA President Nehl Horton. “Anywhere in the world, on any day and at any time, a thriving recreational fishery can be devastated in a matter of hours. And the people who are the foundations of these locations – the captains, guides, crews and outfitters who depend on the industry for their livelihoods – often find themselves at the centre of the storm.
“When disaster strikes, we need to help our fellow anglers to get back on the water as soon as possible. We are deeply grateful to our long-time partner, Costa, for its 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 this year 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 them bring much needed relief as they rebuild.”
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, which have all suffered from the recent impacts of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and Tropical Storm Lidia.