National Boat Manufacturers Honor NJ Charter Captain - The Fisherman

National Boat Manufacturers Honor NJ Charter Captain

Captain Fred Gamboa of the charter boat Andrea’s Toy out of Manasquan Inlet was awarded the 2024 Hammond Marine Industry Leadership Award by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Foundation for Recreational Boating Safety, Education and Environmental Awareness during the American Boating Congress conference.

“Captain Fred Gamboa is a strong advocate for the recreational boating and fishing community, and we are pleased to recognize his dedication to our industry with the 2024 Hammond Marine Industry Leadership Award,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president and CEO of NMMA. “Captain Gamboa’s ongoing efforts to educate Congress and the Administration about the incredible harm the misguided NOAA vessel speed rule will have on recreational boating and coastal communities is admirable and embodies everything the Hammond Award stands for.”

Capt. Gamboa has owned and operated Andreas Toy Charters for over 20 years, and he and his teammates, including fellow Andreas Toy Capt. Greg Demello, have been honored for tagging efforts through Gray Fishtag Research’s Northeast Striped Bass Tagging Program, a project co-coordinated by The Fisherman Magazine.  He has also participated in numerous bluefin tuna tagging projects, including a fin-clip study with the University of Maine, and also served an advisor to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).

In 2022, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) proposed an expansion of the 2008 North Atlantic Right Whale Vessel Strike Reduction Rule. The proposed expansion of the 2008 rule puts a blanket speed restriction (10 knots, approx. 11 mph) on boats over 35 feet in the Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Florida for up to seven months out of the year.

On June 6, 2023, Capt. Gamboa testified before Congress in a House Natural Resources Committee Hearing on “Examining the Impacts of the NOAA’s Proposed Changes to the North Atlantic Right Whale Vessel Strike Reduction Rule.”  The proposed expansion would put a blanket speed restriction (10 knots, or about 11 mph) on boats over 35 feet in the Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Florida for up to seven months out of the year. “If these regulations were to be enacted, the ripple effect would be felt throughout the entire community,” Capt. Gamboa said during his testimony before congress.

“Local businesses heavily reliant on the influx of visitors and tourists, including restaurants, tackle shops, and hotels, would suffer a substantial decline in revenue,” he said on Capitol Hill during the hearing, adding “Consequently, the economic vitality of the entire region would be compromised, leading to job losses and a decline in the quality of life for many residents.”

According to NMMA, Gamboa’s ongoing efforts to champion the recreational boating industry before lawmakers and regulators has helped raise awareness about the potential consequences the rule will impose on the more than $230 billion recreational boating sector.  “We are honored to recognize Capt. Gamboa as a champion for our industry,” said Hugelmeyer said.

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