An innovative program that offers charter fishing clients a chance to take their fresh catch to a restaurant to have it prepared for them has caught the eye of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. The Michigan Catch & Cook™ program was recently recognized with a 2013 Governor’s Award for Innovative Tourism Collaboration in the Experience Development & Presentation category.
The Michigan Travel Commission and the Tourism Industry Coalition of Michigan presented the awards at the Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Detroit.
Catch & Cook was recognized for its innovative approach in getting people from one recreational activity connected to several others. The program brings the recreational fishing and the restaurant and hospitality industries together — expanding the services offered to clients by charter boat fishing companies, generating new business for restaurants, getting visitors to stay longer or overnight and promoting Michigan’s Great Lakes.
The program is collaborative in nature and is comprised of partners from the fishing industry, government and academia, including Michigan Sea Grant, the Michigan Charter Boat Association, the Michigan Restaurant Association, the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Michigan State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.
The Michigan Catch & Cook™ partnership was launched in May 2012, and by the year’s end, 49 charter businesses and 29 restaurants were participating in the program. In all, 21 Michigan ports and 17 coastal counties offered both charters and restaurants enrolled in the Michigan Catch & Cook™ program.