Alexandria, VA – February 15, 2019 – This morning representatives from the recreational fishing and boating community, NOAA Fisheries and NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) 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 the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) signed the MOA at a ceremony during the Miami International Boat Show.

They were joined on stage by Glenn Hughes, president of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).

“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.”

“The combined efforts of the sportfishing industry, the boating industry and our federal partners working together to promote our sport is beneficial to our economy, the health and well-being of our society and the conservation of our public waters,” said ASA President Glenn Hughes. “I thank NOAA for its willingness to work together with us to responsibly grow recreational fishing in saltwater.”