NACO is a national association of charterboat owners and operators that was formed in 1991. Representing thousands of individuals all across the United States, our membership includes marine charters who provide fishing, sailing, diving, eco-tours, and other excursion vessels who carry passengers for hire. As the premiere Association that represents charter boat interests, our objective is to improve the professional charter boat operator's bottom line and to provide a strong voice in Washington, DC.

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USCG Charter Boat Captain Medical Certificate Information

Written by NACO Staff on Thursday, 17 April 2014 20:07. Posted in News

Masters, Mates, and Operators

What is a medical certificate? A medical certificate serves as proof that you are medically fit for duty under the jurisdiction of your Merchant Mariner Credential. Prior to a separate medical certificate being issued, your Merchant Mariner Credential serves as proof of compliance (along with any medical waivers) with the appropriate medical standards. 

When did this change occur? Medical Certificates were separated from the Merchant Mariner Credential per the recent STCW final rule, and this process became effective on January 24, 2014. 

For the complete article please click here 

Survival Craft Legislation

Written by NACO Staff on Wednesday, 09 April 2014 13:11. Posted in News

NACO, along with our coalition partners Sportfishing Association of California and Golden Gate Fishermans Association, has been successful in gaining approval from a congressional subcommittee of language placed in the House Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014 that will grandfather our vessels for out of water survival craft.  New construction or major retrofits in cold water areas as determined by the Secretary would be the only ones affected after January, 2016.  


NACO wishes to thank everyone that sent in letters or called their congressional members on the topic.  This effort was a well coordinated one involving Capt. Bob Zales, II, Captain Ed O’brien, Capt Tom Becker, and Capt. Bob Rush of the National Association of Charterboat Operators, Capt. Ken Franke of the SAC,  and Capt. Roger Thomas of the GGFA.  We appreciate everyone’s help.  This was a huge team effort.  The next step is the full congress will vote on it followed by the Senate.  We are not done until the President signs the bill.  We will be continuing to engage with the Senate on the topic and will be needing your continued help.  NACO will be providing the next steps and communication info to you.

NACO attends the NOAA 2nd National Saltwater Recreational Fishing Summit in Alexandria, VA

Written by NACO Staff on Friday, 04 April 2014 14:45. Posted in News

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service held its second National Saltwater Recreational Fishing Summit in Alexandria, VA on April 1-2. This meeting, attended by more than 100 leaders within the saltwater recreational fishing community, provided a forum for identifying important issues and collaborative solutions. NACO has participated in both summits. Captain Bob Zales and Captain Richard Yamada, members of the NACO Board of Directors, attended this summit representing NACO and its sponsoring associations and members. 

At this meeting, the National Marine Fisheries Service(NMFS) announced plans to develop a national recreational fishing policy. This policy will broadly guide future actions and better integrate recreational fishing with NOAA Fisheries' mission.
Captain Bob Zales, NACO Governmental Affairs Director, stated: “The common theme produced at both of these summits is that access and stability to fisheries is of prime importance to the recreational fishing community.  This message has been driven home to the NMFS, and we should see more cooperation between the agency and recreational fishing industry in the future. A national recreational fishing policy will go a long way to establishing the importance of recreational fishing to our nation.”
Thank you Captain Zales and Captain Yamada for representing the interests of NACO members at this very important meeting. These captains, as well as the entire Board of Directors and staff, are working for you.
The link below is the NOAA Fisheries press release providing more information about the meeting:

EPA National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System(NPDES)

Written by NACO Staff on Tuesday, 25 March 2014 16:40. Posted in News

The National Association of Charterboat Operators (NACO) has been working diligently to secure a permanent exemption to the EPA National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) requirements since the Clean Water Act was overturned by the courts system in 2005. Working with various recreational and commercial fishing organizations since that time, we were able to gain the current temporary exemption.  There are several bills in Congress that will provide for a permanent exemption for all vessels less than 79 feet in length. Senators Begich (AK) and Rubio (FL) have introduced Senate Bill 2094 (S2094), which provides for a permanent exemption to the NPDES for all vessels less than 79 feet.  Your help is needed to help ensure passage of this bill.  NACO has formally endorsed this bill, and all charter boat associations should support this bill as well. NACO will add your association's name to the growing list of organizations supporting this legislation, if you will provide approval.  Please call the NACO office (1-866-981-5136) or send an email ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) denoting approval to add your association's name to the list. Individuals should contact their Senators and request that they support S2094 and become a co-sponsor.  These actions should be taken before March 31, 2014.  
Anyone who charters, fishes commercially, or just enjoys boating should support this effort. The permanent exemption will eliminate another regulatory burden, and eliminate the costs associated with implementation and compliance. We know of no private or industry related boating operations that oppose this effort.  Please provide your support today.

LoBiondo’s Permanent Moratorium

Written by NACO Staff on Tuesday, 18 February 2014 11:07. Posted in News

NACO has been in a lead position working with Congressman LoBiondo, as well as other key legislators and organizations, to take this action.

LoBiondo’s Permanent Moratorium on Fines for Incidental Discharges from Commercial Fishing Vessels Approved by House Committee


Congressman Has Led Effort to Protect Critical South Jersey Industry from Competing State Regulations, Excessive Fines.


Click here for the full article

Announceme​nt: New NACO Administra​tive Director

Written by NACO Staff on Thursday, 06 February 2014 17:20. Posted in News

NACO is delighted to announce that Susan Mason has been hired to be the new NACO Administrative Director. Susan has been our Membership Coordinator since July, 2013, and she previously worked with us from 2004-2008. In her new capacity, Susan will be responsible for the day-to-day administration of the NACO office and will provide daily oversight and coordination of NACO operations. She possesses a sound knowledge of NACO activities and a valuable insight into the needs of our membership. Many of you know her or have interacted with her during these times.

Susan has already hit the ground running and is currently working on updating our membership database, renewing memberships and coordinating membership renewals with sponsoring organizations. She and/or a member of her staff will be available to you during regular NACO office business hours, which are 8:00AM to 5:00PM CST, Monday -Friday at 1-866-981-5136, or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please join us in congratulating Susan Mason on her new responsibilities and welcoming her to our management team.

2014 Annual Meeting - New Board Members

Written by NACO Staff on Thursday, 30 January 2014 18:43. Posted in News

The NACO Annual Membership Meeting was held on January 20-22, 2014 in Orlando, FL.

The following members have been elected by the membership to serve as Directors for a three(3) year term:

Tom Becker      MS 
Jim Deibler        VA
Tom Dogan       IN
Greg Jetton       MD
Charlie Phillips   FL
Mike Sosik         MA
Bob Zales, FL

Congratulations to each of these captains, and a special welcome to Captains Dogan, Jetton, and Phillips who are new members to the Board of Directors.

Captains Brian Keehn, Alex Williams, and Mike Nugent did not seek re-election and rotated off the Board of Directors at the conclusion of the meeting. They deserve our thanks for a job well done.

The following Directors were elected to serve as Officers/Executive Committee for 2014:

President                      Percy Blackburn    VA
First Vice President        Bob Rush              NJ
Second Vice President   Rodger Parcelles    FL
Secretary                     Dave Pecci            ME
Treasurer                     Randall Schmidt     IL
Congratulations to each of these Captains, and a special thank you to the outgoing officers who have diligently carried out their responsibilities: Tom Becker(President), Ed O'Brien(First Vice President), Gary Krein(Secretary) and Ron Maglio(Treasurer). These Captains continue to serve on the Board of Directors.

Thank you to all the NACO members that took time to participate in this years Board elelctions. Your NACO Board of Directors has an active agenda for 2014, and your support is critical to the success of the organization.  We will keep you posted.


Written by NACO Staff on Sunday, 15 December 2013 16:49. Posted in Uncategorized

2014 NACO Annual Meeting

To be held January 20th - January 22nd in Orlando, FL 

For more information, Please contact the NACO office This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


NMFS has published individual fishing quota (IFQ)

Written by NACO Staff on Sunday, 15 December 2013 15:15. Posted in National

NMFS has published individual fishing quota (IFQ) standard prices and fee percentage for the IFQ cost recovery program in the halibut and sablefish fisheries of the North Pacific. In fisheries such as halibut in AK 

and red snapper in the Gulf where efforts are underway to move to recreational IFQ's, it is necessary to understand the potential costs that recreational charter captains and others will experience if these programs go to IFQ. 

Please click here to view the entire federal register notice including pricing break downs. 

If you have any questions regarding this notice and how it may affect you or your fishery, please feel free to send in your questions to the NACo office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will submit them to the NACO fisheries committee for responses. 

NOAA Unveils New Electronic Chart Online Viewer

Written by NACO Staff on Friday, 08 November 2013 13:31. Posted in News

For more than ten years, since NOAA introduced its electronic navigational charts, you have needed to purchase a specialized chart display system to view the NOAA ENC® as a seamless chart database. Starting today, you don’t need a system to view the ENC depictions; you can use Coast Survey’s new web-based viewer called NOAA ENC® Online .

To view complete article: Click Here

Renewal of Mariner Credentials: Lapse in Appropriations

Written by NACO Staff on Tuesday, 15 October 2013 15:37. Posted in News

Renewal of Mariner Credentials during the Lapse in Appropriations

Due to the Federal Government’s lapse in appropriations for Fiscal Year 2014, the Coast Guard is unable to process all mariner credentials in time to ensure that all mariners receive their renewed credentials before their current documents expire. The mariner’s most likely impacted by this situation are those individuals whose credentials expire between October 1, 2013 and November 30, 2013.

Marine Safety Information Bulletin



Written by NACO Staff on Friday, 11 October 2013 16:25. Posted in News

NACO would like to express our condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Russel Nelson, past Executive Director of the previous Florida Marine Fisheries Commission,  and as past Director of Saltwater Fisheries of the current Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. Dr. Nelson was last working as a consultant for The Billfish Foundation and Coastal Conservation Association. Russ was an extremely knowledgeable fishery biologist and knew the fishery management system well. Fishermen across this country and in other parts of the world have lost a true advocate for fishermen and the resource.

Former Marine Fisheries head Nelson dies unexpectedly

2014 Board Nominations Request

Written by NACO Staff on Friday, 11 October 2013 16:47. Posted in News

Interested in Running for a Board Seat?

This year NACO has 7 board of director seats that are up for election. If you are interested in serving please send a resume (bio) and a copy of your Coast Guard License to the office no later than October 22, 2013, so that we can forward your information to the nominating committee.

As a board member it is important for you to attend the annual meeting and participate on one of our working committees. Additionally board members visit with prospective new members through associations in their area that are not currently members to explain the benefits of NACO membership and encourage their joining.

Holding a NACO board seat is a rewarding experience, knowing that you are contributing to the well-being of your industry. If you are interested in seeking a board seat please send a short bio to the NACO office so that we can forward your information to the nominating committee. Bio’s (resumes') need to be received in the office no later than October 22, 2013.

Please mail, fax, or email Bio’s to;
P.O. Box 7208
Diberville MS 39540

Phone (866) 981-5136
Fax (877) 263-8548
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Regular membership in this Association shall be composed of individuals engaged in the charter boat industry. Applicants for regular membership must possess a valid United States Coast Guard License to operate a passenger carrying boat for hire to be eligible for regular membership.


Directors shall be elected at the Association's Annual Meeting by vote of the majority of regular members present and a count of the ballots submitted by regular members not present. Each Director shall be elected for a term of three years.

Any Director shall be eligible for reelection.

The Immediate Past President of the Board of Directors and three regular members appointed by the Board shall constitute a Nominating Committee, whose duty it shall be to solicit the membership for candidates for the Board of Directors.

Any regular member wishing to run for a seat on the Board must go through the selection process of the nominating committee to be on the ballot. The Nominating Committee shall nominate that number of candidates at least equal to the number of seats on the Board, which will be available at the next Annual Meeting.


Each regular member shall be entitled to a single vote on matters submitted to membership for a vote. Associate members shall not have voting privileges.

To update your membership status from associate to regular membership, please provide a copy of your USCG Captains License to the NACO office.