NOAA 99-R144
Contact: Stephanie Dorezas


"Gone fishing" will soon be a refrain heard throughout the halls of Boston Community Centers. The Commerce Department's National Marine Fisheries Service has announced a new Fishing Tackle Loaner Program that will allow kids to check out a complete set of fishing tackle for one week from Boston Community Centers.

A ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the occasion will be held at 10:00 a.m., on Wednesday, July 21, at Castle Island in South Boston, Mass. Children from the Community Centers' Camp Joy will help to initiate the program by fishing from the pier during the ceremony.

Boston Community Centers, now in its 26th year, offers a number of programs to Boston's youth. Over the past two years, the center has partnered with local businesses to introduce saltwater angling to the public by promoting pier and chartered fishing trip opportunities along the Boston waterfront and Harbor islands. Boston Community Centers will now be the first city-wide organization in the country to loan salt water fishing gear. The program, initiated by the National Marine Fisheries Service and sponsored by the local community, is designed to allow children and first time anglers the opportunity to participate in the activity of saltwater angling without having to first purchase rods, reels and tackle.

"We're excited about the Fishing Tackle Loaner Program because it enables our kids to enjoy fishing without any financial obligations while also learning about angling ethics and conservation practices," said Penny Dalton, the director of the National Marine Fisheries Service. "It is also a wonderful family-oriented activity that increases appreciation of our important marine resources."

"We worked hard to make this marine tackle loaner site a model for future expansion," reported Bill Price, the director for marine recreational fisheries program for the National Marine Fisheries Service. "A significant portion of the U.S. population lives near the coast, and this program will give kids and others the opportunity to try saltwater fishing - and to try it is to be hooked."

Other partners in the new loaner program include Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Governor Argeo Paul Cellucci, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, the American Sportfishing Association, and Shakespeare Fishing Tackle.

The fisheries service is an agency of the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The agency researchers and manages the nation's marine fisheries, and provides trade and industry assistance, law enforcement, protected species protection, and habitat conservation.