Why is it important for anglers to be leaders in conservation? Because health, fish protection and the future of our fisheries depend on it. As recreational anglers, we have the opportunity to play an important role as environmentally responsible and to set an example for others. We treat our resources with respect and leave them a little better than we found them. Fish conservation is a by-product of responsible conservation and one that we can all attribute to.
Here are some highly effective ways you can do your part to save endangered fish species:
1. Learn about the local marine life
Take the time to find out which species are critically endangered and why they are important to the ecosystem. This knowledge will equip you with understanding and a desire to do the right thing.
2. Practice catching and letting go
Catching and releasing is a critical element of fisheries management. Seasons, size and pocket limits, and other regulations call for capture and release, but many ethical anglers do so even when not required.
3. Minimize your “footprint”
This is the state you left an area in in terms of how it was when you got there. Whether you fish by boat, shore or pier, the goal is to leave it exactly as you found it or better.
4. Reduce the use of single-use plastic
Cut down on the amount of single-use plastic and go for reusable products every time you can. Plastic bags, utensils, bottles, straws. Each year, 8 million pounds of plastic are dumped in the ocean (Ocean Conservancy), damaging and killing marine life. By choosing reusable items, you will reduce the litter that goes into the ocean and save fish species.
5. Dispose of the garbage properly
Make sure you dispose of the trash properly and recycle it every time you can. When boating, safely stow rubbish to make sure it doesn’t go overboard. Never throw it away and always recycle plastic.
6. Increase the cleaning effort
Collect trash from your local waterways, participate in a cleanup near you, or organize a cleanup to get the community involved.
7. Opt for organic fertilizers
When it rains, the chemicals leak into the waterways and potentially harm marine life. Opt for a real estate organic fertilizer or none at all.
8. Raising awareness of others
Every day new people enter the world of fishing, many may not know anything about nature conservation or the saving of fish species. Set a good example and share your conservation tips with others in a friendly and helpful way.
9. Go to the polls and vote
Often politics drives policies that drive solutions or, in some cases, environmental turbulence. Human factors and behaviors are essential to the health of our fisheries. So take the time to vote in local authorities interested in improving the future of our resources.
Find out more about sustainable fishing practices to save endangered fish species or check out this graphic that shows how participating in the fishery promotes conservation.