Skip to main content

RFA’s Jim Donofrio to Retire

1_RFA_Jim Donofrio

Recreational Fishing Alliance founder Jim Donofrio announced he will step down from the organization Dec. 31. He has served as executive director since founding RFA in 1996.

Donofrio, who is 72, is credited with creating the first IRS-recognized 501(c)(4) political action organization focused on the needs of saltwater anglers, the recreational fishing industry and marine resources. RFA said in a statement that his vision to provide the community with a political voice at the state and national levels was unique to the legislative and regulatory process governing how recreational fisheries and anglers are managed.


“No one has fought harder for the rights of the saltwater angler,” said Viking Yacht Co. president and CEO Pat Healey. “Jim has been an incredible asset for us, and the RFA wouldn’t be what it is today without him.”

Donofrio’s experience as a fishing captain gave him insight into how regulations impact coastal anglers, businesses owners, manufacturers and retailers. He went on to form working relationships with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, as well as with fishery managers and scientists.

RFA Logo

“I am sad to see Jim Donofrio leave the RFA after many years of serving fishermen in the state of New Jersey and across the nation,” said U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-N.J.). “He was a vital resource for our fishermen, and we had the good fortune to work on issues that beneficially impacted the state of New Jersey.”



2022 Women in the Industry Summit, Leadership Panel, Awards Ceremony & Reception



Seabins Coming to Lake Erie

The devices, deployed as part of a pilot program, skim and collect debris from the water, including microplastics. Meanwhile, MBIA announces scholarship funds.


Boatsetter Reports Uptick in Rentals

The on-water experience company has seen triple-digit growth in pontoon and party-boat rentals, as well as fishing and yacht charters.


Smartgyro Signs Distributors, Hires Sales Manager

The company said the three U.S. distributors, working with Bob Walker, will help expand its dealer network and brand recognition.


The Upside of a Downturn

Economic challenges should push you to develop a strategy that helps you weather the storm and come out stronger on the other side.


Marine Travelift Launches Co-op Program

The company received its first student, a University of Wisconsin engineering major, in the seven-month paid co-op.


Trade Only Today Returns Tuesday

The e-newsletter will not publish July 4 in observance of Independence Day. We wish everyone a safe holiday weekend.


ORR Announces Federally Funded Projects

The U.S. Economic Development Administration prioritized outdoor recreation for the first time