In Case You Missed It - March 13, 2015 News

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Amazing, New Video from Howler Brothers to Kick Off 2015 Spring Collection

This collection was inspired by trips to tropical destinations in search of surf, hard-to-catch fish, and plenty of adventure. Throughout the collection, there are two resounding themes: “Dawn Patrol” and “Constellations”. Dawn Patrol, symbolized by the rooster, harkens to early morning sessions of surf, getting out on the water before anybody else, getting that fix in before the real world creeps into your day. The theme of Constellations speaks to the incredible night skies that only become visible when you are someplace away from the big city, someplace wild and fun. Howler Brothers added five new styles of shirts, four new styles of shorts and boardshorts, a new t-shirt collection and 20 new hat styles. Plus, there are some killer new designs of Howler favorites like the Gaucho Snapshirt and Bruja Boardshorts. To kick it all off, Howler Brothers and filmmaker RC Cone created a new video from their recent trip to Mexico. This video is one that makes you jealous of a lifestyle and location that anglers and surfers get to experience — watch it now and hope that the bonus check comes through this year.
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SIMMS Talks Trip Protection with Sportswear Launch

Simms Fishing Products is aiming to help protect anglers from the perils of sunburn. The company is launching its campaign, Trip Protection, featuring the benefits of selecting the right fishing-specific sportswear. The storywas crafted in December on a trip to Blackfly Lodge on Abaco Island,Bahamas. “Anglers associate Simms gear with keeping them on the water longer in all types of conditions,” says Matt Millette, Simms Sr. Director of Brand Marketing. “Sometimes that notion is lost in warmer climates like the Bahamas, but great gear is just as crucial there as anywhere else in the world.” Increased exposure to the sun while angling is a long-battled obstacle while flats fishing. Simms’ line of sun protection sportswear is UPF 30+, which means that only 1/30th of harmful UV radiation can penetrate the garment. Use of sun protection clothing can prolong fishing time on the water and ensure a more enjoyable fishing trip. Simms teamed with the guides at Blackfly Lodge to tell their sun protection story. In addition, renowned guides Mike Schultz and Paula Shearer joined the team in the Bahamas. The company launches a featured story at simmsfishing.com, complete with the breakdown of sun protection sportswear, short film and travelogue about fishing in the Bahamas for bonefish. Click here to learn more Trip Protection and the Simms Bahamas story.
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Sir Richard Branson Joins Guy Harvey in The Great Shark Race

Dr. Guy Harvey and Sir Richard Branson are calling on individuals and corporations to sponsor shortfin mako sharks that will be tagged and released off the coast of Isla Mujeres, Mexico later this month. Dr. Harvey and his foundation, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, along with the Guy Harvey Research Institute at Nova Southeastern University, have created an innovative race that allows businesses and/or individuals to sponsor sharks through the purchase of satellite tags. The tags enable researchers and the public to follow these animals via the internet as they travel in near real-time. The Great Shark Race consists of two “divisions” – the Shortfin Mako Shark Division and the Oceanic Whitetip (OWT) Shark Division. Participants sponsor satellite tags ($5,000 each,), which are affixed to either a mako shark or an oceanic whitetip shark in the Caribbean. Then the shark in each division that travels the furthest in six months wins. The winning sponsor will receive an incredible prize including diving and or a fishing expedition at the Guy Harvey Outpost in Islamorada, Florida and Guy Harvey original artwork. Existing sponsors are Virgin Unite, AFTCO, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Florida Sea Grant and Guy Harvey Outpost. Prospective new sponsors can go to www.greatsharkrace.com to register. These two species of ocean going sharks are the focus of a long-term research by the Guy Harvey Research Institute based at Nova Southeastern University’s Oceanographic Center. Both species have been extensively overfished worldwide with the mako listed by the IUCN as vulnerable to extinction and the oceanic whitetip as critically endangered in the Atlantic. The race aims to shine a spotlight on the incredible distances these sharks swim through the waters of many countries and to draw attention to the effects of overfishing. Without the reliable data fishery managers are hampered in their management and conservation efforts. The director of the GHRI Dr. Mahmood Shivji said: “Given the large reductions and declining population trends both species are in need of better management and immediate conservation. Both species are known to travel long distances but hardly anything is known about the details of these movements in terms of their timing, orientation, scales of movement, differences between sexes and sizes and what factors drive these migrations. This knowledge is essential for developing effective conservation measures such as time and area closures for shark fisheries.” Sir Richard Branson is pushing to have all Caribbean nations provide legislated protection for sharks within the next five years as part of the Caribbean Challenge Initiative. So far the Bahamas, Honduras, the BVI and the Cayman Islands have such legislation in place. The mako shark is a close relative of the white shark and is targeted in commercial long line fisheries for its very tasty flesh. The mako is also a favorite of sport fishermen, as it is known for its incredible speed and ability to jump high out of the water. Few are released because they are good to eat unlike many other shark species. The sharks are tracked using a SPOT tag attached to their dorsal fins, which transmits a signal to a satellite when the fin cuts above the surface and gives its position very accurately. The limiting factor in these studies is the high cost of the electronic tag and the satellite time. As the study has expanded several corporations are now stepping up their support. Notably Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Unite and AFTCO are supporting shark tracking efforts by the GHRI in the western Caribbean. The oceanic white tip shark (OWT) is the second species to be featured in the Great Shark Race. This is another species that is known to travel great distances. Some work has already been done in the southern Bahamas by the GHRI and a team from Stonybrook University. This new tagging effort in the central western Caribbean based in Grand Cayman will greatly add to the data available on this critically endangered species. To learn more about the Race, click here. Photo courtesy of Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation
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A New National Campaign Asks Anglers to Pledge to Pitch It

Americans are more conscious than ever about properly disposing of, or recycling plastic containers and other materials. The recreational fishing industry, through KeepAmericaFishing®, its grassroots angler advocacy campaign, is asking anglers to add their worn out soft plastic baits to that list. The new Pitch It campaign was the direct result of a proposed legislative ban in Maine on the sale and use of soft plastic baits. While legislators were contending that baits discarded in our waterways were harming fish populations, the American Sportfishing Association(ASA) is not aware of any study done in the wild showing the detrimental impact of soft baits. Years of laboratory tests on soft baits have shown that most fish regurgitate or pass them without harm. While there are many environmental factors that have an impact on lakes and streams, ASA contends that, regarding soft plastic baits, what really exists is a litter problem. As the voice for the recreational fishing industry, ASA and KeepAmericaFishing developed the Pitch It campaign to address this issue, educate anglers on proper disposal methods, and influence a positive change. “The genesis of the Pitch It campaign was the potential legislative ban on soft plastic baits, and that is its current focus,” said KeepAmericaFishing Director Liz Ogilvie. “However, we would like to extend the campaign beyond soft plastic baits to address trash of any type littering our nation’s waterways.” Ogilvie also said that ASA and KeepAmericaFishing believe that building awareness and educating anglers is the appropriate action to stop other states that may consider introducing their own legislative actions. "Our industry has stepped up to take the initiative to tackle this problem head-on and demonstrate that recreational anglers are – as always - the best stewards of our nation's waterways," stressed Ogilvie. "In fact, there is a lot of support from the industry on this issue, but special thanks go to the World Fishing Network, Strike King and angling pro Kevin VanDam who were all significant contributors to getting the campaign off the ground." In his January 15, blog post, Pitch It supporter Kevin VanDam said, "There's no excuse for throwing anything in the water that isn't going to break down immediately. A crusty sandwich is one thing, but old plastics, fishing line or any tackle should be carried to shore at the end of the day. I encourage you to share this information with other fishermen and convince them to keep damaged plastics in their boats until they get to land where it can be disposed of properly. We have to lead by example." The Pitch It microsite on www.KeepAmericaFishing.org not only serves as an educational tool, but it also aims to be a repository for recycling programs across the country. "We are hearing about local tackle shops, clubs and even individuals who have started recycling programs for their local area. It's important that we list them in one place, so anglers can easily find a repository for their disposable tackle," noted Ogilvie. "Perhaps people will discover an opportunity right around the corner that they never knew about." For more information, contact info@keepamericafishing.org or visit the Pitch It microsite at http://www.pledgetopitchit.org/.
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Costa Starts to Kick Plastic: Brand on Mission to Keep Plastic Out of Oceans

A swirling, floating, melting mess of plastic trash and debris roughly the size of Texas spins in an ever-growing orbit in the North Pacific ocean, known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” Discarded plastic cooks in the sun’s rays, and oozes into miniscule pieces too small to be collected and removed from the water. This plastic sea soup continues to grow and threaten the globe, with similar garbage patches spotted in oceans around the world. Already, more than one million sea birds have been killed as a result, and two-thirds of the world’s fish now test positive for plastic in their system. Disposable items like plastic water bottles are huge contributors to the problem. Humans produce more than 200 billion plastic water bottles per year, with at least 10 percent ending up in the ocean. Costa, a company committed to sustainable sport fishing practices and ocean conservation, launched a campaign this week to educate its customers about the growing ocean trash issue, and encourage them to kick the plastic habit. “Our hope is that we can spark real conversations within our own fishing and outdoor communities about the grave dangers facing our oceans,” said Perkinson. “This isn’t some distant problem, this is an issue that directly impacts all of us in the sport fishing industry. Simple changes such as carrying a reusable bag to the store, drinking out of a permanent water bottle and recycling the plastic we do use can significantly reduce the amount of trash making its way into our oceans.” The company produced a short animated video to more simply explain the plastic problem. To watch the clip, click here: http://bit.ly/kickplasticvid. Costa also dedicated a page on its website to the "Kick Plastic" campaign, complete with news articles covering the issue, tips on ways people can reduce their own plastic habits, and showcasing people already making changes to clean up their acts. The hash tag #KickPlastic connects conversations happening on social media. The company is currently evaluating its own operational procedures, and developing short and long-range plans on how it can reduce the amount of plastic it uses in its production process. For more information on Costa's Kick Plastic message, or to join in the global movement, visit http://bit.ly/kickplastic.
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Sportfishing Organization Joins Opposition to Drift Gillnets

Today, California's leading advocate for recreational anglers joined a broad based coalition of wildlife conservation and recreational fishing organizations in a united effort to ban the use of drift gillnets off the California coast. “Its time for an irresponsible and destructive commercial fishing practice to come to an end,” said Marko Mlikotin, Executive Director. “Drift gillnets are responsible for an unacceptable amount of unintended death or injury to fish and marine life. While a very small segment of the commercial fishing industry still uses drift gillnets to catch swordfish and thresher sharks, it is limiting sportfishing opportunities that support outdoor tourism and California jobs.” Even though the drift gillnet swordfish fishery makes up just 1/2 of 1% of the value of California’s commercial fishery, approximately 60% of sea life caught with drift gillnets intended for swordfish is dumped back into the ocean, much of which is dead or injured. Its victims include tuna, marlin, dolphins, sea turtles, sea lions, whales and many other forms of marine life and fish. On Wednesday, March 11, the Pacific Fishery Management Council will be reviewing this destructive fishing practice (Item H.4). In the months leading up to this meeting, the Council over 500 pages of public comment, including a letter from a broad coalition of recreational anglers and wildlife conservation groups. If the Pacific Fishery Management Council moves to ban drift gillnets, it would not be the first of its kind. Drift gillnets are already banned in Washington and Oregon, and the international community has also recognized the damage drift gillnets cause, as they are banned in all international high seas and the entire Mediterranean Sea. The California Sportfishing League is urging California anglers to join its call for an outright ban on drift gillnets by joining its petition drive found on its website. There is a growing recognition among recreational anglers that responsible commercial fishing practices are important to protecting the future of sportfishing. “While we disagree with our coalition partners on a number of issues regarding sportfishing, the banning of drift gillnets is an issue that unites us,” said Mlikotin. The California Sportfishing League (CSL) is a nonprofit coalition of fresh and saltwater anglers, and small business owners devoted to protecting access to recreational fishing. Recreational fishing contributes over $4.9 billion annually to California’s economy, a source of outdoor tourism and jobs. To learn more visit www.SportfishingConservation.org or @CASportfishing
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Keep America Fishing Asks for Support to Stop No-Fishing zone in Biscayne National Park

The National Park Service has chosen to disregard input from recreational anglers and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and is moving ahead with plans to create a huge no-fishing zone in Biscayne National Park. What's at stake? Locking the public out of roughly 10,500 acres of public water without good reason would not only deny anglers the right to fish, but would have a devastating impact on the local communities that depend on fishing in Biscayne National Park. What can you do? Your Members of Congress need to hear from you so they can make the NPS stop this unwarranted closure. Click here to support.
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Mercury Marine Announces March Bonus for Qualified Borrowers: No Payments for 90 days

Mercury Marine announced today that credit-worthy borrowers who purchase a qualifying engine through the Mercury Repower Financing Program are eligible to defer their first loan payment for 90 days.The Mercury Repower Financing Program, launched in September 2014, offers repower engine financing to credit-worthy consumers. This optional deferred-payment promotion runs concurrent to the existing Repower Revolution promotion, which launched Jan. 1 and runs through April 30, and offers a promotional financing rate of 4.99% APR* for qualified applicants. This low rate provides customers the option of choosing a payment that fits their budget and allows customers to get the engine they want today. Consumers who choose the Repower Revolution rebate instead of financing can receive a rebate of up to $1,625 per qualifying repower engine. Repowering a boat is an opportunity for recreational boaters to fall in love with their boat all over again, and the deferred payment and Repower Revolution promotions provide consumers options to purchase a new Mercury engine in their preferred manner. Mercury engines are the perfect fit to upgrade your boating experience with unmatched quality, performance, innovation and reliability. “Boating is about having fun on the water, and we are excited to offer even more ways to enjoy the performance of your boat,” said Randy Caruana, Mercury vice president of North/Central America and Asia Pacific. “This new Repower Financing Program offers consumers more options for better experiences with their vessels. With our new products, like the 350 Verado and our 75, 90 and 115 FourStroke outboards, the consumers’ boating opportunities have never been better. Being able to offer deferred payments, competitively financed, is just another way we are supporting consumers to get the most from their time on the water.” The Repower Revolution financing promotion is available, via participating dealers, in all U.S. states except Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, Montana, Rhode Island and West Virginia. The rebate program is available, via participating dealers, in all U.S. states.For more information, please visit www.mercurymarine.com.