MIAMI Fla., (Feb. 8, 2010) - For most boat companies the severe downturn these past few years hit especially hard; crippling and folding many.
For others like Hell's Bay Boatworks' owners Capt. Chris and Wendi Peterson, who are heading to the Miami International Boat Show to exhibit this week (Feb. 11 - 15), their involvement in helping others has in turn helped them through this recession.
Rob Kramer, the president of the International Game Fish Association summed it up two weeks ago at the IGFA Auction and Banquet at Palm Beach, when he presented Hell's Bay with the IGFA Conservation Award for Industry Partners saying: "Today Hell's Bay Boatworks is led by a team of dedicated fishermen, outdoorsmen and adventurers. Hell's Bay is passionate about giving back to the sport of fishing by supporting non-profit organizations that value the longevity of the sport."
Jason Schratwieser, the IGFA's Conservation Director, added; "Besides making what are arguably the finest shallow water skiffs in the world, Hell's Bay also does its part for conservation. In addition to donating to the IGFA, it also supports the Bonefish &Tarpon Trust and Coastal Conservation Association. It's really great to see a company that's clearly a leader in the skiff building business also give back to help ensure the future of our fisheries."
Tagging and releasing bonefish and tarpon for science; retrieving abandoned ghost crab traps from inshore waters; building a huge aerated tank vital to the safe release of tournament fish, it doesn't stop there. Among a long list of events, they also support the FishStock weekend in New Smyrna Beach, and numerous Redbone tournaments for cystic fibrosis research.
"We became even more proactive after the severe downturn hit the marine community nearly four years ago," said Peterson. "We love being involved and making a difference. Non-profits and charitable groups need to keep running in the good times and the bad."