US fishing tackle Industry welcomes $60m grant to RBFF
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The renewal of a $60m grant to the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) has been welcomed by the US tackle industry as the sport seeks to build on positive participation trends.
The RBFF won the five-year funding following a competitive process in which its track record for growing the number of fishermen and boaters clearly played a persuasive role.
Fishing participation has increased by 20% over ten years with the support of a number of RBFF initiatives, including its takemefishing.org resource, First Catch Centres and the ongoing 60-in-60 programme designed to drive participation to 60 million by 2021.
While the grant is critical in sustaining the RBFF operation, President and CEO Frank Peterson said the benefits were more than just financial. “It is a vote of confidence in the direction we are taking with our efforts to bring more people into fishing and boating, such as focusing on young people, families and Hispanics. It acknowledges that we are getting results.”
Peterson also urged tackle companies to get behind the RBFF. “We need industry support to continue to increase participation and generate new customers for the industry,” he said.
“Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, for instance, have been great supporters and we are hoping to inspire more industry participation in our various initiatives.”
Glenn Hughes, the American Sportfishing Association’s Vice President Industry Relations, said the grant would ensure that that there are many programmes and campaigns to recruit, retain and reactivate anglers.
In announcing the grant, US Secretary of State for the Interior Ryan Zinke commented: “The new cooperative agreement with the RBFF is going to make sure we are reaching new anglers and boaters of all ages to get out on the water.”