Recreational Fishing Alliance organizes Wal-Mart boycott

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The Recreational Fishing Alliance says angler and business response to the group’s call for a nationwide Wal-Mart boycott have been overwhelming.

The RFA called for a boycott of Wal-Mart after learning that the Walton Family Foundation had awarded more than $36 million to groups such as Ocean Conservancy, the Conservation International Foundation, the Marine Stewardship Council, the World Wildlife Fund and the Environmental Defense Fund in support of marine protected areas and catch-share programs.

“We’ve had calls of support from both coasts, even from a few Midwest bass fishermen. Our nation’s anglers are extremely agitated by the Walton Family Foundation’s actions,” RFA executive director Jim Donofrio said in a statement. “When you spend your hard-earned money on fishing tackle only to learn that the profits are being used to close down fishing access, it gets folks justifiably upset.

“The fishing community supports conservation, but we’re not willing to accept preservation, exclusion or privatization,” he added.

The alliance is reminding anglers who want to organize grassroots protests outside their local Walmart store to consult with local authorities first.

“We encourage peaceful protest, but every municipality has its own rules and regulations regarding active protest,” Donofrio said.


12 comments on “Recreational Fishing Alliance organizes Wal-Mart boycott

  1. John Ennis

    They have a right to express their opinions just as any other group. But a protest opposed to the conservation of species is really stupid. Warning. Most of the Wally Worlds are in shoping centers where protest demonstrations are not allowed.

  2. Capt. Al Bernetti

    You would do well to learn about the issue, this is not about conservation.

    This about doing away with fishing….period.

  3. Tim

    Really? When Walmart opens and uncuts all of the local tackle stores, but provides no knowledge of or support for any of their products, you don’t boycott then? But when they actually do something responsible and donate some money to protect the future of the sport, then you are upset? I think you something is backwards here.

  4. dave

    those organizations that the Walmart Foundation has donated to, are for setting up protected areas that BAN fishing…

    Donofrio has it right, these groups are not in it for conservation or allowing fishing…they are only interested in completely eliminating sport fishing, boating, or enjoying “their” water…

    Walmart is not doing anything to protect the sport with these organizations. I suggest you all look at them closely and see what they advocate, have done and will do.

  5. Rod

    Let me get this straight, WALMART sells fishing tackle, sponsers fishing tournaments, some store locations sell boats, and yet they are donating to groups that allegedly want to ban all fishing? What am I missing?? I should GOOGLE these groups, maybe that will get me an answer.

  6. CaptA

    I agree with John Ennis. A protest opposed to the conservation of species is really stupid. Why take such an adverserial stance with Walmart? Why not try to work with them instead of against them. What a radical idea? ..or are people going to act like the Congress and declare war on the “OTHER SIDE”. You all are just nuts.

  7. Jim Hutchinson

    You are not “protecting the sport” by donating profit towards the creation of no access marine preservation zones. How is that protection of our sportfishing by giving money towards establishment of no take, no access, exclusionary zones?

    “Conservation of species” is wonderful, however if you visit the RFA website ( you’ll see that this is not about conservation, but instead it’s preservation and exclusion. All anglers care about conservation, but marine protected areas as established by the Walton Family Foundation recipients don’t do anything about the conservation of species under the principle of open access.

    Funny that some fishermen are willing to step up and fight for their right to fish, attend council meetings, rally on the steps of the Capitol, and wage formal protest against corporate neglect, while others are hoping to “place a wager on who the winner will be.” I’ll BET on political action by an irate American public, what are my odds?

    “I should GOOGLE these groups, maybe that will get me an answers.” Good thought, enter the term ‘catch share’ into your GOOGLE search to see where Walton Family Foundation is dedicating some of their billions. These are privatization schemes which places shares of all the nation’s fish stocks into the hands of a privileged few – if coastal fish stocks are tied up in marine reserves and privileged harvest, imagine what the future of sportfishing will look like down the road.

  8. Bill T

    Jim – while you are doing your reseach, look into who is really behind the RFA. I think that will tell you all you really need to know.

  9. Jim Hutchinson

    “while you are doing your reseach, look into who is really behind the RFA. I think that will tell you all you really need to know”

    Well Bill T, as Managing Director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, I’m pretty well-versed in that actually!

    Most of our support comes through individual membership dues and member donations; those who support the RFA mission (“to safeguard the rights of saltwater anglers, protect marine, boat and tackle industry jobs, and ensure the long-term sustainability of our Nation’s saltwater fisheries”) are really the biggest supporters. Being that the “marine, boat and tackle industry” is part of that mission, we do get support from many of the fine folks who read Soundings Trade Only and engage in the discussion here.

    As for our national Board of Directors, you can find a press release at which lists a recent update.

    I guess since I’m behind RFA in a lot of ways, I do know all that I really need to know – we’re guided by staff, volunteers and members who believe 100% that we have a right to fish in the United States of America!

    Not sure if this was the answer you were looking for Bill T, but it’s – as they say – from the horse’s mouth!

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