International Game Fish Association Provides Relief Funding
Following Historic Firestorm in Hawaii
World’s largest game fish nonprofit sends $30,000 in support of recreational angling communities
September 21 ,2023
The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) announced today that it is sending an initial distribution of $30,000 from the IGFA’s Worldwide Anglers Relief Fund (WARF) to the recreational fishing communities in Hawaii in the wake of the recent firestorm. On August 8th, devastating wildfires broke out in Lahaina, on the island of Maui, causing severe damage and being hailed as the most devastating natural disaster in the island’s history.
In 2017, the IGFA alongside Costa Sunglasses created the Worldwide Anglers Relief Fund (WARF) to provide financial aid following major natural disasters to those whose livelihoods are built on serving the recreational angling community. Charter captains, guides, and outfitters often form the cornerstone of coastal economies, and WARF is designed to help small businesses and entrepreneurs in the recreational angling industry get back on their feet and to help reestablish the cultural and financial well-being of their community.
“Captains, crews, and tackle dealers form the backbone of the angling community. Yet, when natural disasters strike, they face unprecedented challenges that affect their homes, their families, and their livelihood,” said IGFA President Jason Schratwieser. “That’s why we’re proud to partner with industry leaders to donate funds when and where they’re needed most. From hurricanes to historic fires, the IGFA stands committed to the recreational angling industry, ensuring resilience during turbulent times.”
Working closely with longstanding IGFA Representative Rick Gaffney, a lifelong Hawaii resident and prominent member of the recreational angling community, the IGFA has identified the Hawaii Fishing & Boating Association (HFBA) as the organization it will partner with in distributing these relief funds.
“As a previous resident of Maui, with deep roots in the sport fishing industry in Lahaina, I was stunned to hear about the devastating fires, the loss of the majority of Lahaina’s sportfishing fleet, and the impact of the firestorm on so many captains, mates, and supporting businesses in the sportfishing community,” said IGFA Representative Rick Gaffney. “It is an honor to have been chosen by the IGFA to distribute its WARF aid to the recreational angling community of Lahaina.”
To date, the WARF has distributed a total of $305,000 to recreational angling communities in Florida, Texas, Montana, Louisiana, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Belize, and The Bahamas to help local captains and guides recover following natural disasters.
“Coastal communities are truly the lifeblood of our brand. Not only are they built alongside the waters and fisheries we love to spend our days exploring, but these places are also home to a large portion of our core angling community, “said Justin Cupps, Senior Vice President Costa. “It’s why we work so hard to protect our coasts, to show up and bring relief to those affected by natural disasters through our OneCoast initiative, and why we established WARF in conjunction with IGFA. Our hearts go out to the people of Maui, our extended family of consumers, accounts, pros, partners, and specifically those who have been directly affected.”
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 donate here, or purchase Costa #OneCoast apparel in support of recovery efforts at CostaDelMar.com. Your support 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 Jack Vitek at [email protected].
Media Contact: Shelby Stephenson