LONG BEACH — Five young anglers, including one from Southern California, were each awarded $1,000 scholarships for their participation in the fourth annual Sanctuary Classic, it was announced on Feb. 28. The scholarships were awarded from the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation as part of a summer fishing photography contest.
The lone winner from Southern California was Asher Encinas, who claimed the Most Unique Looking Fish prize. Encinas submitted a photo of a copper rockfish he caught at the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.
Other winners were:
– Aiden Austin: Smallest Fish Award for his catch and release of a tiny snapper at the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
– Damian Becquer: Guy Harvey Spirit Award for his catch of a mangrove snapper in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
– Bryce Churchill: Best Conservation Message Award for his catch and release of a white papio caught from Kailua Bay in the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary
– Nikko Pappas: Biggest Fish Award for reeling in a red snapper while fishing near Grays Reef (Georgia) National Marine Sanctuary off the East Coast of Florida.
“The goal behind the Sanctuary Classic is an important and lasting one — to encourage people, and families in particular, to get out of doors and enjoy our nation’s network of marine sanctuaries,” said Guy Harvey. “We’ve always been proud to support this unique event and to help honor our next generation of conservation-minded anglers.”
Photos were submitted all through last summer and had to feature a young angler fishing in a marine sanctuary or adjacent waters. Three judges – Barbara MacGilivray of IMAX, Hawaiian Fishing television host Ben Wong, and Harvey – evaluated the submissions.
The Sportfishing Conservancy and NOAA’s Office of Marine Sanctuaries announced the five scholarship winners.
The fifth annual Sanctuary Classic is in the works; more information can be found on sportfishingconservancy.org.