The Angling Trust’s National Campaigns Coordinator Martin Salter was invited to Lisbon last week to give a presentation to the first workshop held in Europe by The Berkley Conservation Institute, the environmental arm of the global tackle giants Pure Fishing. Martin, who in 2011 compiled the influential Keep Australia Fishing report, was asked to examine ‘good and bad practice in the management, governance and promotion of recreational fishing’.
The workshop was entitled….Exploring threats to recreational and sport fishing across Europe…and was seeking to examine ‘conflicts between recreational fisheries and EU policy and other legislative frameworks and explore how to best resolve such conflicts. This seminar, supported by Pure Fishing, will provide the opportunity to draw on global experiences to meet this objective.’
Martin, who represented the Angling Trust, was joined by Jan Kappel from the European Angler’s’ Alliance (EAA) and a number of prominent fishery scientists from the US, England and Portugal including Dr Ian Cowx, Director of Hull International Fisheries Institute.
As the world’s largest tackle manufacturer, Pure Fishing is alive to the need to play its part in protecting and conserving fish, fishing and fisheries. Back in 2005 they set up the Berkley Conservation Institute (BCI) to support conservation and angler recruitment efforts. They cooperate with fishing groups, conservation organiszations, customers and other industry partners to protect all fishable waters. The stated aim of this collaboration is “to enhance populations of important sport fish and to introduce the next generation to the delight of angling….and to teach them to lead the fight for conservation. This passion for stewardship has been a foundation of our company for over 70 years. ”
The BCI is advised by a Conservation Leaders Advisory Team of scientists, sportsfishers and academics from the USA and Europe and are led by Director of Conservation Jim Martin and CEO John Doerr.
More information on the work of the Berkley Conservation Institute can be found here http://www.berkley-fishing.com/about/berkley-conservation-institute
In his presentation Martin outlined the need for the tackle trade to be supporting strong advocacy for recreational fishing across Europe and how angling needs to be at the forefront of environmental campaigns that are seeking to protect fisheries and fish stocks for future generations.
Martin Salter said:
“It was clear to me that the guys from Pure Fishing are ahead of many in the global tackle trade in the amount of hard earned resources and dollars they are putting into conservation projects and environmental campaigns and partnerships. They not only appreciate the importance of protecting the resource upon which recreational fishing depends but are keen to find new ways to build greater public and political support for what we do. Most of us look across to the USA with envy when it comes to the political clout that recreational fishing can deliver and the resources available via the licence fee income and levy on tackle and boat fuel sales. But the guys from Pure Fishing have realised that our sport is at a crossroads with increasing pressure on the resource from expanding populations, climate change, water abstraction and pollution, habitat loss and commercial overfishing. Loss of fish and fishing coupled with the host of other distractions available to young people mean that the next generation of anglers could be much harder to attract.”
For example, every year the BCI invites angling clubs or chapters to apply for one of their Outstanding Conservation Awards presented in partnership with the US sportsfishing group B.A.S.S., in honor of the best conservation and angler recruitment and retention projects. The Institute awards a $2,000 cash prize for the best conservation project and $1,500 in fishing gear for the best angler recruitment/retention project.
As Berkley’s Conservation Director, Jim Martin says:
“This program represents our partnership to celebrate those who work each year to give back to the resource that supports our wonderful sport and to those who work to recruit the next generation of passionate anglers. Berkley is more than just line and bait, and B.A.S.S. is so much more than just fishing tournaments. We want to thank you, to celebrate your project, to contribute support to your organization and to inspire others to follow your lead.”
“I’m hopeful that with Pure Fishing taking over Hardy’s, that most iconic of British tackle brands, and the valuable links we made last week in Lisbon, that there will be more joint working between the Angling Trust, the EAA and the world’s biggest tackle manufacture on the issues that matter to our sport. Conservation and sustainable fisheries management is crucial to securing a fishing future. As I said in my Keep Australia Fishing report…
There is no future in having recreational fishers in one corner and environmentalists in the other, without a healthy aquatic environment and a sustainably managed fishery there will be no recreational fishing in the long term.
It really was great to see a major player in the fishing tackle industry stepping up to the plate on conservation and the environment. Hopefully others will follow.”