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Save the fish foundation introduces first major initiative at boating week 2000

Contact: Jim Donofrio
609/294-3315
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 10, 2000

SAVE THE FISH FOUNDATION INTRODUCES FIRST MAJOR INITIATIVE AT BOATING WEEK 2000

At the National Marine Manufacturers Association trade show in Orlando, Florida, the Recreational Fishing Alliance's (RFA) Save the Fish Foundation unveiled a new initiative for developing and disseminating desperately needed scientific and socio-economic information.

This major initiative of the Foundation will initially be lead by Andrew Loftus, former director of the FishAmerica Foundation and science and conservation manager for the American Sportfishing Association; Gilbert C. Radonski, fellow in the American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists, past president of the Sport Fishing Institute, and former fishery management council member; and Richard B. Stone, marine fishery scientist and retired chief of the Highly Migratory Species Division of the National Marine Fisheries Service. Additional specialist support for the initiative will be announced in the future.

The new program will serve as a clearinghouse for credible scientific, sociological, and economic data related to the management of marine fisheries in U.S. coastal waters and its effect on recreational fishing and the economy. The program will serve as an objective information resource for fisheries related conservation organizations and will develop broad communications and outreach networks to empower them to more effectively work on behalf of improved fisheries management at all levels. “Although the RFA's Save the Fish Foundation has taken the lead in establishing this program, I cannot stress enough the importance of the support and participation of all organizations that are concerned about the health of marine fisheries,” remarked Andy Loftus, Save the Fish Foundation Program Director. “This program will serve as a resource for good, credible information that everyone can draw upon. Consequently, our first step will be to establish a multi-organizational steering committee. In the coming months, we will be reaching out to our partners in the marine conservation, sport fishing, and boating communities to join in this effort.”

The program will not engage in advocacy or lobbying functions. In addition to the steering committee, specific tasks will include engaging a consortium of experts to develop a comprehensive compendium of coastal fisheries management composed of species management profiles and specific issue briefs; and creating a communications network to disseminate information to improve participation in the development if fisheries management policy and the regulatory process.

The RFA's Save the Fish Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization. Formed in 1996, the Foundation's mission is to develop the scientific information necessary to defend the interests of marine fishery resources in the government decision making processes that affects them; identify the primary causes of marine fish population declines; and educate the fishing community, the public, and elected officials on actions needed to increase the abundance of marine fish populations and restore their value to the nation's quality of life.

For more information about the Save the Fish Foundation or to inquire about making grants or donations, contact Jim Donofrio, executive director of RFA, at 1-888-SAVE FISH (728-3347).


by Gerry, SFHP



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