IGFA Provides Relief Funding to Southwest Florida Captains & Guides Following Hurricane Ian

DANIA BEACH, FL  – The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) announced today that it is sending an initial distribution of $50,000 from the IGFA’s Worldwide Anglers Relief Fund (WARF) to the recreational fishing community in Southwest Florida in the wake of Hurricane Ian.

The IGFA has partnered with the National Association of Charterboat Operators (NACO) and the Florida Guides Association (FGA) to develop an application process for relief funding that will be eligible for any licensed recreational captain or guide adversely affected in the Southwest Florida area. All applications will be vetted by members of NACO and FGA to ensure the funds are properly distributed.

To apply for relief funding, please visit https://www.nacocharters.org/component/rsform/form/14-hurricane-ian-assistance.html.

“Although Hurricane Ian made landfall in Southwest Florida in late September, there are many captains and guides still struggling to get back on the water in the aftermath of this devastating storm,” said IGFA President Jason Schratwieser. “We are excited to provide this funding to help those in need, and we are very thankful for all the individuals, companies, and groups that contributed to this effort.”

The IGFA and Costa Sunglasses created the WARF in Sept. 2017 to provide financial aid to local charter captains, guides, and outfitters in the wake of major natural disasters. Professional, recreational angling is often the cornerstone of local coastal economies, and the ability for these small businesses and entrepreneurs to get back on their feet after natural disasters is critical to re-establishing the cultural and financial well-being of the areas in which they operate.

“At its core, Costa’s mission is to support our angling communities and the waters we love – and in times like these, we are all #OneCoast. It doesn’t matter what body of water you live on or near, it’s the water that unites us,” said Costa Conservation & Community Partnerships Manager, Joe Gugino. “The destruction in Southwest Florida was devastating, but it has been truly inspiring seeing the angling community come together to help support our friends in Southwest Florida and get them back on the water again.”

With this latest distribution, the WARF has now distributed a total of $275,000 to recreational angling associations in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, Belize, Louisiana, The Bahamas, and Montana to help local captains and guides recover from natural disasters.

“We’re excited to once again be working with the IGFA on this important work,” said NACO President Capt. Bob Zales, II. “NACO, along with our Sponsoring Association FGA, are proud to be working with the IGFA and Costa on the WARF again, where we will be able to make some meaningful and substantial changes in the lives of the captains and guides impacted by Hurricane Ian.”

All funds raised and donated to the WARF are distributed to those impacted by natural disasters. To make a direct, tax-deductible contribution to the WARF, please go to https://igfa.org/world-anglers-relief-fund-warf/, or purchase Costa #OneCoast apparel in support of recovery efforts at onecoast.net. Your support is greatly appreciated and will directly benefit anglers, guides, crew members, and outfitters in need.

The IGFA is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For more information about getting involved with the WARF, please contact IGFA Marketing Director & Chief of Staff Jack Vitek at jvitek@igfa.org.

About the IGFA

Founded in 1939, the IGFA is a nonprofit organization committed to the conservation of game fish and the promotion of responsible, ethical angling practices through science, education, rule making, record keeping and recognition of outstanding accomplishments in the field of angling. The IGFA also maintains world records in freshwater, saltwater, fly fishing and junior angler categories. The IGFA has members in more than 100 countries.

About NACO

NACO is the national association of charterboat owners and operators that was formed in 1991. Representing thousands of individuals all across the United States, our membership includes marine charters who provide fishing, sailing, diving, eco-tours, and other excursion vessels who carry passengers for hire.

About FGA

The Florida Guides Association is a statewide organization of Professional Fishing Guides, Corporate Affiliates, and Associate Affiliates who have been working together since 1991, toward the goal of “Better fishing through conservation”. We believe it is essential to lobby to protect the rights of all recreational anglers for access and responsible use of the natural resources available in Florida’s State waters.