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June 29, 2010

FishAmerica Gulf Fund to Benefit from June 30 Telethon

Funds raised will help foundation in its Gulf Coast fisheries restoration efforts
By Asa

Alexandria, VA - June 28, 2010 - The FishAmerica Gulf Fund is one of the beneficiaries of the World Fishing Network's (WFN) Fishing Crisis in the Gulf Telethon to air on WFN on June 30. The WFN News: Fishing Crisis in the Gulf is an all-day special providing in-depth coverage of the impact of the oil spill on recreational and commercial fishing in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

The telethon will raise awareness of the catastrophic impact this on-going event is having on the entire fishing industry and raise funds for organizations providing aid and support to those most negatively impacted by the disaster. Throughout the day, WFN will direct viewers to donate to the WFN Gulf Oil Spill Fisherman's Fund which supports the FishAmerica Gulf Fund's Gulf Coast fisheries restoration efforts, and the Venice Charter Boat and Guide Association.

"The FishAmerica Foundation is proud to partner with WFN on their initiative to raise awareness and funds in support of restoring sportfisheries and their habitat in the Gulf region," said FishAmerica Foundation Executive Director Johanna Laderman. "We are prepared to step up and help community-based conservation and restoration projects. We encourage WFN viewers and the industry to help the cause on June 30, and beyond."

Established in 2005 to provide funding for restoring fisheries habitat and recreational fishing facilities devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the FishAmerica Foundation is expanding its Gulf Fund grant program to include fisheries and their habitats that are expected to be impacted by the April 22, oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The foundation will work with state and federal natural resource agencies and local community conservation groups to identify and prioritize projects such as wetland creation and restoration, aquatic vegetation planting, restoring fish habitat and rebuilding angler access in the Gulf Region. Since 1983, the foundation has invested in numerous sportfish restoration projects and worked hand-in-hand with state and local agencies and conservation groups to successfully enhance sportfishing along the Gulf Coast and across the nation.

According to a 2008 NOAA Fisheries report , the Gulf of Mexico is one of the most popular areas for recreational fishing in the United States with nearly six million saltwater anglers, taking over 45 million fishing trips each year, fishing for red drum, spotted seatrout, sheepshead and red snapper among others. Recreational fishing serves as the economic backbone for many coastal communities surrounding the Gulf of Mexico. The oil spill has the potential to impact the nearly 2,300 tackle shops in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida's West Coast. The six million anglers combines resident and non-resident saltwater anglers in Alabama, Florida's West Coast, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas who fish in the Gulf of Mexico.

For additional information and to support the FishAmerica Gulf Fund, please visit www.fishamerica.org or contact Johanna Laderman, executive director, FishAmerica Foundation, jladerman@asafishing.org , or 703-519-9691, x245.