WFN: World Fishing Network is looking to lend a helping hand to anglers and the fishing industry being impacted by the devastating oil spill in the Gulf Coast.
The 24-hour fishing lifestyle service on June 30 will dedicate its entire lineup to in-depth coverage of the effects the environmental disaster on recreational and commercial fishing in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, and make its programming available to distributors as a freeview. WFN will also commit all of its commercial time that day to messaging aimed at raising awareness and monies for attendant groups.
Throughout the day, WFN will direct viewers to donate to the WFN Gulf Oil Spill Fisherman's Fund,which supports the FishAmerica Foundation's Gulf Fund in support of Gulf Coast restoration efforts, and the Venice Charter Boat and Guide Association.
As of press time, a host of distributors in the U.S. and Canada will be televising the one-day fundraiser. Dish Network, Charter Communications and AT&T U-verse are all on board. Charter Communications will be making the service available to its digital customers in various services areas, while AT&T will have a WFN free-view available for all U-verse TV HD subscribers June 28 through June 30 to help support affected anglers.
The special is also being made available to more subscribers on Comcast, Verizon, Knology and GVTC.
North of the border, a host of distributors are making WFN available to a wider swath of their customers on June 30: Rogers, Bell TV, Shaw Cable, Shaw Direct, EastLink, Source Cable, Access Communications, Novus Entertainment, Telus TV, SaskTel, Cogeco Cable, MTS and Westman Communications.
Distributors interested in carrying the freeview should contact WFN vice president of content distribution Sean Luxton at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-457-2904
The network's June 30 coverage will be anchored by a 30-minute special, WFN News: Fishing Crisis in the Gulf, beginning at 8 p.m. (ET) and encoring throughout the evening.
Co-hosted by WFN News anchor Jim Van Horne and Emanuel Beliveau, host of WFN Green, the program will report from the fishing areas most impacted by the spill, from Venice to Pensacola, while also taking a closer look at how anglers in other areas are preparing for the worst as the spill spreads. The show will also tell the stories of those charter captains, guides and anglers most impacted by the disaster, and encourage donations to the fund.
WFN News will also continue its coverage with news reports from the Gulf throughout the summer, with updates from conservation experts and government officials.
The network is also providing comprehensive information via a dedicated Web site at www.wfn.tv/gulf, which is covering the crisis from a fishing perspective. The site features a timeline of events, video of news stories, articles from WFN Ambassadors in the area and more.
"This is a disaster of epic proportions, and the impact on anglers and the fishing industry in the area will be devastating - now and well into the future," said WFN president and CEO Mark Rubinstein in announcing the fundraising initiative. "WFN is making a commitment to the fishing industry in the region, and we're asking all of our viewers, partners and colleagues in and outside the industry to join us and help this important cause."
"The FishAmerica Foundation is proud to partner with WFN on this initiative to raise awareness and funds in support of restoring sportfisheries and their habitat in the Gulf region," said FishAmerica Foundation executive director Johanna Laderman. "We are prepared to step up and help community-based conservation and restoration projects. We encourage WFN viewers and the industry to help the cause on June 30 and beyond."
The foundation will work with state and federal natural resource agencies and community conservation groups to identify and prioritize projects such as wetland creation and restoration, aquatic vegetation planting, rebuilding angler access and reestablishing fish passage in the Gulf region.
The Venice Charter Boat and Guide Association comprises charter boat captains from South Plaquemines Parish, the most popular fishing destination in the Gulf. The organization has been created to protect the interests of charter boat captains and ensure that -- after the crisis is over -- the commercial and recreational fishing industry can get back on its feet.