The Sportfishing Conservancy and NOAAÊ¼s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries have announced that the third annual Sanctuary Classic — a free fishing photo contest that celebrates recreational fishing in AmericaÊ¼s national marine sanctuaries and promotes conservation-focused fishing practices is ready to kick off for Summer 2014.
This Summer-long photo competition opens up June 7 — World Oceans Day— and runs throughout summer, ending on September 1 (Labor Day).
To participate, people just need to submit fishing photos taken in any of our nationÊ¼s national marine sanctuaries (and adjacent waters) to Sanctuary Classic at www.sanctuaryclassic.org. The sanctuary network spans more than 150,000 square miles of ocean and Great Lakes waters from the Hawaiian Islands to the Florida Keys and from Lake Huron to American Somoa, providing families everywhere with an opportunity to fish and enjoy the Great Outdoors.
Photos will be judged by a panel of fellow anglers who love fishing and appreciate good fishing photos.
This isnÊ¼t a “big fish” contest; rather photos will be chosen that capture the fun of fishing and spirit of good sportsmanship.
Each week, the first 20 entries submitted will automatically receive a Guy Harvey T-Shirt. A panel of judges will select one photo each week, and the person who entered it will receive a valuable prize including fishing tackle, sunglasses and more.
Soon after Labor Day, the judges will select eight of the submitted photographs for special Guy Harvey Sanctuary Classic Scholarship Awards, rewarding youth fishing photos that best exemplify the following themes — Kids Fishing, Kids and Family Fishing Values, Kids in the Sanctuaries, Kids in the Outdoors and Kids Conservation.
Eight $500 scholarships will be presented by the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation to the winning parents/guardians of children under 18. “This event was developed to celebrate the time honored family tradition of recreational fishing and sharing time together on the water,” said Sportfishing Conservancy President Tom Raftican.
“We want to encourage people to explore our marine sanctuaries and all they have to offer. Entering photos in this free nationwide contest is a great way to add to the fun and give yourself a shot at winning some great prizes,”
added Raftican. “This event will help spread the word that about 98% of sanctuary waters are open to recreational fishing and offer excellent, accessible opportunities for family outdoor fun. And by focusing on fun photos — instead of fish brought back to the dock — weÊ¼re promoting the joy of catch-and- release fishing and the benefits of ethical angling practices,” added Raftican.
“We want families to get outdoors and enjoy the many recreational opportunities our marine sanctuaries provide,” said Daniel J. Basta, director of NOAAÊ¼s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. “By encouraging participation in family activities like recreational fishing, and focusing on ethical angling practices, we can together foster a sense of responsibility for our environment.”