As the pending Gulf Restoration Plan is being produced, The Billfish Foundation is encouraging recreational anglers and boaters, especially those in the Gulf states, to urge the government to include the sportfishing segment in the plan.
"Boating and the sportfishing industry employ some 300,000 individuals in the region, generating an economic stimulus of $41 billion annually," Billfish Foundation president Ellen Peel said in a statement. "It includes a wide array of marine-related manufacturing, sales, service and diverse support and enhancement businesses ranging from artists to yacht builders and brokers.
"The coastal towns, individuals and the recreational fishing and boating businesses suffered significant economic losses resulting from the oil disaster. Individuals who normally enjoy the Gulf's beautiful resources have been unable to do so in light of access issues and safety concerns," she added.
A draft letter is included on The Billfish Foundation website to assist boaters and anglers.
The letter can be e-mailed to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus at: firstname.lastname@example.org.