The fishing and boating community has drawn in more women than ever before, yet fewer than 1 in 5 female participants see themselves represented on the water, according to the latest Special Report on Fishing from the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF). In response, RBFF’s Take Me Fishing™ brand is dedicating its presence at the 2020 Progressive Miami International Boat Show — held Thursday, Feb. 13 through Monday, Feb. 17 at the Miami Marine Stadium — to its #WomenMakingWaves initiative.
“Getting more women on the water isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also critical to the future of fishing and boating,” says Stephanie Vatalaro, SVP of Marketing and Communications for RBFF. “Our research shows moms are fishing with their kids more than dads. And with 80 percent of current anglers having begun fishing before age 12, female participation is integral to the fishing and boating industry’s continued success.”
As part of its #WomenMakingWaves initiative at the Miami Boat Show, RBFF is partnering with a fleet of 12 female social media influencers to share their stories online. Select influencers will also speak at two panel discussions hosted by RBFF to share their experiences as female anglers and offer their insights for getting more women involved in fishing and boating. The panels will be held Thursday, Feb. 13, at 11 a. m. and 3 p.m. at the West Marine booth #C448, located inside Tent C at the show. They are free and open to all event attendees.
Additionally, RBFF is the presenting sponsor of the show’s Innovation Breakfast featuring award presentations and remarks from industry leaders. Vatalaro will speak on RBFF’s 60-in-60 goal to reach 60 million anglers in 60 months. The Innovation Breakfast will take place Friday, Feb. 14, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.
“The Miami Boat Show hosts an exciting array of boats and cutting-edge technology,” says Vatalaro. “With our whole industry getting together to showcase what’s next, RBFF’s #WomenMakingWaves initiative is a fitting call to action to start a new wave in fishing and boating to empower people of all ages, genders and cultures to experience the joys of being on the water.”
Launched in 2018, #WomenMakingWaves is a women-powered social media movement to increase female representation in fishing and boating. While participation is rising among women and other key demographics like youth and Hispanic anglers, continued growth will depend on evolving the activity to appeal to new generations of Americans who haven’t traditionally participated in fishing and boating.
““Based on our research, fishing and boating’s biggest growth opportunities are among families who are young, urban, active and culturally diverse,” says Vatalaro. “Traditional stereotypes about fishing no longer resonate with this audience. That’s what the future of fishing and boating can be summed up in a single rallying cry: The water is open to everyone.”
To help support the industry for generations to come, everyone is invited to join the cause at www.TakeMeFishing.org/MakingWaves, where they can help create new fishing and boating participants by learning more about the initiative, accessing social media resources and encouraging their online connections to experience fishing and boating themselves.
Both Vatalaro and RBFF’s President & CEO Frank Peterson are available for interviews about the organization’s work to increase participation in recreational fishing and boating. Interested members of the media can contact Bruna Carincotte at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 743-9894 to arrange an interview.