After nearly 27 years of dedicated service to recreational anglers and the marine industry, the Recreational Fishing Alliance has made the decision to unite the grassroots strength of its organization with well-established recreational fishing organizations, including the American Sportfishing Association, among others. This plan to transfer material support will be carried out over the coming months and conclude with the dissolution of the RFA.
Founded in 1996, the RFA was established as a national 501(c)(4) grassroots political action organization — the first of its kind — with the longtime mission to safeguard the rights of our nation’s saltwater anglers, while protecting marine industry jobs and ensuring the long-term sustainability of U.S. saltwater fisheries. The RFA has been a tireless advocate for saltwater anglers at the local, state, regional, federal, and international levels.
“Today’s decision to redirect the resources and assets of the RFA toward supporting groups will ensure that we can capably carry out advocacy work on behalf of the recreational fishing community in a strong and united effort,” said Patrick Healey, president and CEO of Viking Yacht Co.
This strategic move aims to strengthen the collective efforts of like-minded organizations to ensure that the rights of American saltwater anglers and businesses are protected.
“We are confident that the original purpose and mission of the organization will continue to be carried out as we redirect the resources and support of the Viking Marine Group toward partner organizations such as American Sportfishing Association, the Center for Sportfishing Policy, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the International Game Fish Association, and The Billfish Foundation,” said Robert Healey Jr., chairman of the RFA board of directors and Viking Yacht Co. “With the grassroots support of RFA members nationwide, I’m confident that our industry can maintain a strong collective voice for this nation’s saltwater anglers through these established leadership organizations.”
Through the years, the RFA, its board of directors, and its members have actively engaged in the fisheries debate while playing a pivotal role in shaping policy at both state and federal levels.
“RFA’s ability to mobilize its membership base and maintain close relationships with elected representatives on a bipartisan basis has helped stave off numerous attacks that stood to erode access to fisheries and our oceans,” said John DePersenaire, director of government affairs for Viking Yacht Co. and past executive director of the RFA. “By merging the RFA’s critical resources with other organizations and redirecting member engagement, we can ensure that the RFA’s intentions will carry on with renewed vigor into the future.”
RFA’s partnership with these organizations shows the continued commitment to anglers, boaters, and marine fisheries.
“We greatly appreciate the hard work of the RFA and welcome its support of the American Sportfishing Association,” said Glenn Hughes, president of the American Sportfishing Association. “Our highly engaged staff and advocacy campaigns, such as Keep American Fishing, stand committed to best represent anglers, boaters, and the marine fisheries.”