New partnership between the IGFA and NACO

New partnership between the IGFA and NACO
NACO was contacted by the folks at the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) on October 17, 2018 about forming this partnership as a way to provide some financial assistance to those for hire charter and headboat owners, operators, and crews who have suffered from the impacts of hurricane Michael. Our NACO staff has already been working to identify the for hire charter and headboat owners within the area most affected by Michael which is from Steinhatchee, FL to Panama City Beach, FL. Working with the Florida Wildlife Commission and the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission we have been provided the number of for hire charter and headboats licensed to operate in Florida and with federal charter and headboat permits.
We are in the process of providing more information to you and providing our application form for those living and working in the affected area to apply for assistance. Due to limited funds we will not be able to provide financial assistance to everyone and will be looking to help those most in need. We will also be seeking more funding to add to what IGFA has provided. Please stand by as we are diligently working to provide more information to those folks living and working in the affected area.
We greatly appreciate the folks at the IGFA for reaching out to NACO to help in this effort. We are looking forward to working with IGFA on future projects to help the for hire charter and headboat industry. 
For those who will apply for financial assistance from this program be aware you “DO NOT” have to be a member of NACO or the IGFA. This assistance is dedicated for those in need the most and to help folks get back on the water providing recreational fishing opportunities to the public.
We welcome anyone who would like to be a member of NACO as working to improve the for hire charter and headboat industry is one of our main goals. Thanks and look for more information soon.
You may receive the following via email fro the IGFA:
The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) recently announced that it will allocate an initial $10,000 in relief funds from its Worldwide Anglers Relief Fund (WARF) to assist in the recovery efforts of the recreational fishing industry in the Florida Panhandle after Hurricane Michael. 
The IGFA and Costa, a founding partner of the WARF, will be working with the National Association of Charterboat Operators (NACO) to identify those captains, guides and mates that are in the most need of this relief funding. 
We would greatly appreciate you helping us to spread the news about this important work to help get the recreational fishing industry in the Florida Panhandle back up and running. 
If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact me directly. 
Best regards,
Jack Vitek
Marketing Manager
International Game Fish Association (IGFA)
300 Gulf Stream Way
Dania Beach, FL 33004

An Industry Loss...Tom Becker

8649 MMS



It is with great sadness that I report that we have lost a great friend, husband, father, Air Force Serviceman, and dedicated worker for the For Hire Charter Industry, Captain Tom Becker from Biloxi, Mississippi. Tom was a great guy, dedicated family man and dedicated to his country and his livelihood in the charter fishing business.

Tom retired from The U.S. Air Force where he served all of us. He retired to Biloxi and started his charter fishing business, Skipper Charters. Tom became a NACO member in the early ‘90s and was elected to the Board shortly after becoming a member. Tom served on the Board continuously until he had a stroke last year when he decided to resign. He served on several NACO Committees, was Vice President and President during his time on the Board. Tom represented NACO on a Gulf of Mexico U.S. Coast Guard Committee and helped keep access for charter fishermen around offshore oil platforms and worked to include the Gulf charter fleet in home land security issues to add an extra source to secure our shores.

Tom was a tireless worker both in his charter business and his efforts to move NACO forward and to provide regulatory relief for all charter boat owners and operators across the county. His efforts and ideas have helped the NACO Board work to gain legislative and regulatory relief while helping to improve and secure new member benefits. In all his years serving on the Board he only missed one meeting, last year due to his stroke. Tom helped guide NACO through two difficult times and thanks to his efforts we now have a new management company who is moving NACO well into the future.

Tom never refused a request for help and went out of his way many times to help others. His experience, knowledge, and advice were paramount in helping to improve the professionalism within the charter boat sector. He always had an answer and if he did not know one he would find out. He never refused a request and went out of his way to help others. The Charter Fleet off Mississippi will greatly miss him and his efforts to keep all working. NACO members, indeed the entire For Hire Charter Fleet, across the country will miss Tom and his tireless efforts to improve our industry.

I will miss Tom as a friend. He was always there to help and just to discuss fishing and any other issue. I have known Tom, and his wife Dianne, since 1995 when I first became a NACO Board Member and attended my first meeting in Alexandria, VA. We became friends instantly and have been in contact ever since. I will miss his knowledge of fishing off Mississippi and of the charter industry as a whole. I think I speak for all charter boat owners and operators when I say he will be greatly missed as we have lost a true friend.