The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s Making Waves program is angling for more female representation in fishing—and it’s already showing results.
For many kids, fishing opens the gate to the outdoors. It’s a way for families to bond not only with each other, but also with nature. In 2017, 49.1 million people participated in the sport, including 11.6 million kids ages 6 to 17.
Research shows that children are most likely to go fishing with their moms, yet only 19.3 percent of women and girls say they feel represented in the sport. The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation is working to change that.
In a new initiative called Making Waves, RBFF aims to empower women on the water and increase representation of women through educational fishing workshops designed for women and girls. The program also includes stories from women fishers, as well as resources that show where to fish and how to obtain a fishing license, to inspire other women to get involved.
“Despite this perceived lack of representation in the sport of fishing, 45 percent of last year’s new fishing participants were female, and that number continues to grow,” says Stephanie Vatalaro, vice president of communications for RBFF, in a news release.
RBFF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing participation in recreational angling, or fishing with a rod and a line, and boating—something it hopes will help protect and restore the country’s natural aquatic resources.
The foundation is also partnering with Fishing’s Future—a group that emphasizes recreational fishing as a valuable way to connect kids with their families and environmental stewardship—to launch women-specific fishing events around the country.
“We are proud to be an industry leader in identifying and engaging with new markets to ensure the future of fishing and boating,” Vatalaro said in the release. “With this campaign, we’re creating spaces for women out on the water. And we want this initiative to be the rallying cry for other industry organizations to join us.”