How did an IGFA Hall of Fame fisherman and fishing resort owner add conservationist to his resume? By understanding that conservation is a gift to our children and their children.
More than twenty years ago I joined Wild Oceans to protect billfish and their ocean habitat. I had built a career in the sport fishing business and traveled the world in pursuit of big marlin. But I quickly realized that if my children were going to have the same fishing opportunities I’ve had, I needed to set an example. I had seen first-hand the benefits of using circle hooks and by 1998 all my captains and their clients adopted them. But that was just the beginning. I worked to help persuade the governments of Costa Rica and Guatemala to enact laws requiring all billfish fishermen to use circle hooks, at the same time demonstrating the importance of recreational fishing to local economies.
In 2008, Wild Oceans launched the Take Marlin Off the Menu campaign and then took the fight to protect billfish to the U.S. Congress, helping pass the landmark Billfish Conservation Act of 2012, effectively ending the sale of an estimated 30,000 billfish every year.
I believe that the future of fishing is conservation on every level – from how we chose to fish, to influencing national and international regulations. That is how we can make a difference and pass a wild ocean on to our children.
I am Wild Oceans.
Do you support the future of fishing? Tell us your story on Facebook and Instagram with #IAmWildOceans