|The explosion of "high-tech" fishing using sophisticated equipment such as GPS location and highly-accurate Fish Finders have put greater pressure on fish populations. Therefore, it has become more important than ever for fisherman to help preserve the future of the sport by limiting our catch today to safeguard our resources.
Fish populations, like all natural resources, are too valuable to be wasted. Through practicing "catch and release" fishing, we can assure the preservation of fish populations and give future generations the chance to experience the enjoyment of this sport.
What can you do to help?
How to release a fish:
- Catch and release any fish, or, at least, take only minimum necessary.
- Pay for a fishing license, respect the law and spawning season restrictions.
- Report any illegal fishing or commercial fishing outside of designated commercial areas.
- Bring back your trash and fishing lines to the shore as this pollution will degrade the environment decreasing fish vitality and, eventually, the overall fish population.
- Encourage your club, marina, or friends to follow these same simple suggestions.
Thassanee Wanick is a professor of Sustainble Development Studies and Management and president of SHARE International Foundation for Sustainable Development, a non-profit dedicated to promoting "Sustainable Living" styles without sacrificing each unique cultural identity.
- If possible, try not to remove fish from the water as this causes a great strain on their systems, increasing their chance of dying before or soon after release.
- Use barb-less hooks or straighten your hooks with pliers.
- Keep your hands wet when handling fish to avoid removing the protective mucus coating the skin.
- Before releasing, revive the fish by holding it gently by the belly and tail and in an upright position. If in a stream or river, let the fish rest by gently holding it against the current. Be sure not to hold the fish around its gills as this can suffocate the animal.