Long Beach, Calif. – The Sportfishing Conservancy and its many partners in the 2012 Sanctuary Classic fishing photo contest have released a new video designed to spur participation in the event and promote the many great fishing and other recreational opportunities available in California’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
While this new video focuses on Monterey Bay, this free summer-long contest is taking place at National Marine Sanctuaries across the U.S., including the Florida Keys, Channel Islands (Calif.), and Gray’s Reef (Ga.). This unique event is aimed at getting families and youth outdoors while promoting the many great recreational angling opportunities available within our country’s expansive network of National Marine Sanctuaries. The Classic is a joint effort of many national organizations, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.
The event, which kicked off June 9 and runs through September 3, promotes conservation-focused recreational fishing opportunities in each of the sanctuaries, while also providing anglers with information about the unique habitats included at each of the locations. Participants at each of the sanctuaries just need to submit photos of their catches via the tournament website. Those who submit the site’s top 10 vote getting photos each week will receive $100 gift certificates. In addition, each photo entered will automatically be considered for one of four $1,000 Guy Harvey Sanctuary Classic Scholarship awards, named for and sponsored by world-renowned marine artist, angler and conservationist Guy Harvey. A panel of judges (including Harvey) will select four photographs deemed to best exemplify kids and family fishing values, and present the educational awards to the parents or guardians of children under 18 in the winning photos. Details of the judging criteria for these special awards are provided on the Sanctuary Classic website.
“Monterey Bay is a truly unique area offering special fishing and recreational opportunities for families,” said Tom Raftican, President of The Sportfishing Conservancy. “Anglers across the region have already enjoyed record fishing for salmon and other species so far this season, so there’s never been a better time to get on the water with friends and family,” added Raftican. The video features Paul Michelle, Superintendent of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, along with top charter captains and fishing/whale watch boat operators from across the Monterey Bay area.
In total, the National Marine Sanctuary System spans over 150,000 square miles of ocean and Great Lakes waters from the Hawaiian Islands to the Florida Keys, and from Lake Huron to American Samoa. While the sanctuary program’s primary mission is to protect the nation’s critical marine ecosystems, 98 percent of all sanctuary waters are open to activities including recreational fishing, diving, surfing and swimming.
Additional support for the Classic is being provided by national and local partners including the National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation, which provided initial funding though the Ernest F. Hollings Ocean Awareness Trust Fund.
–– Source: Strike Zone Communications