Sustainable sport fishing

There are those who look at sport fishing with the same disdain they reserve for hunting. Yet this is a quite inappropriate comparison, as catch and release fishing is an environmentally responsible and sustainable sport. It is also one that can benefit the environment it utilises, as it draws attention to the abundance or lack of species in the ocean, thereby increasing public awareness.

The value of a fish in the ocean versus a fish on the plate is also an important element of sport fishing. With many large sport fishers traversing the region, an increase in Cayman’s notoriety for sport fishing should see more large sport fishers stop off in Cayman as they travel the region.

“When those large boats stop in, they’re going to buy fuel, they’re going to buy food in the restaurants, they’re going to rent a car. They’re more than likely going to use some of the accommodations here because they are not going to be staying on the boat, they’ve been on it at sea for a week or two so they’re ready to get off, so it will provide an injection of capital into the economy,” says Frank Thompson, president of the Cayman Islands Angling Club.

According to Frank, the club’s focus is on conservation and promoting responsible fishing, while at the same time promoting Cayman as a sport fishing destination.

“Last year we had two international television shows filmed here in Cayman. One was filmed in November and aired on NBC sports on the 6th of January – that was George Povoromo’s World of Saltwater Fishing, and on the 10th of March, the second show that was filmed here last year aired on NBC Sports, it is called Fishing TV and that particular show was hosted by Dr Guy Harvey and the focus was marlin fishing,” says Frank.

The club also takes its responsibility for spreading the word on sustainable sport fishing to the local community seriously, and is very open to helping out anglers either new to the sport or just new to the Islands.

“For any new residents to the island that are interested in the sport and have a boat but don’t necessarily know the hot spots or the techniques, if they contact the club we would be more than happy to put them in touch with longstanding club members who can assist them willingly, free of charge,” says Frank.

Of course, should they prefer to go with a professional captain the club and also help them find one of the local charters that can take them out and show them the ropes.

“One of the things that we are looking to do this year is put on a couple of seminars at one of the local marinas, targeting those individuals that have a boat and are interested in fishing and just need some guidance on how to use the electronics on the boat, where the hot spots are, what time of year is more popular for the specific species, and techniques to catch a species,” says Frank.

For more information on the Cayman Islands Angling Club, visit fishcayman.