Why is it important for anglers to be leaders of conservation in the outdoors? Because the health, fish conservation and future of our fisheries depend on it. As recreational anglers, we have an opportunity to play an impactful role as stewards of the environment and to set an example for others. We treat our resources with respect and leave them a little better than we found them. Saving fish species is a byproduct of responsible conservation and one we can all attribute to.
Here are some highly-effective ways that you can do your part in saving endangered fish species:
1. Learn about the Local Marine Life
Take time to learn which species are endangered and why they are important to the ecosystem. This knowledge will arm you with understanding and a desire to do what’s right.
2. Practice Catch and Release
Catch and release is a critical element of fisheries management. Seasons, size and bag limits and other regulations are in place to require catch and release, but many ethical anglers do so even when it’s not required.
3. Minimize your “footprint”
This is the condition in which you left an area in relation to what it was like when you arrived there. Whether fishing by boat or shoreline or pier, the goal is to leave it exactly as you found it or better.
4. Reduce use of Single-use Plastic
Reduce ise of single-use plastic and opt for reusable products every time you can. Plastic grocery bags, utensils, bottles, straws. Every year, 8 million pounds of plastic are dumped into the ocean (Ocean Conservancy), harming and killing marine life. By opting for reusable items, you are reducing waste that ends up in the ocean and saving fish species.
5. Dispose of Trash Properly
Make sure you dispose trash properly and recycle every time you can. While boating, stow trash securely to ensure it doesn’t blow overboard. Never litter and always recycle plastic.
6. Increase Clean-up Efforts
Pick up trash that litters your local waterways, join a clean-up event in your area or organize a clean-up event to get the community involved.
7. Opt for Organic Fertilizers
When it rains, the chemicals run into the waterways potentially harming marine life. Opt for organic fertizer for waterfront properlies or none at all.
8. Raise Awareness with others
Every day, new people are entering the world of fishing, many who may not know about conservation or what saving fish species entails. Set a good example and share your conservation tips with others in a kind and helpful manner.
9. Go to the Polls and Vote
Often times, politics drives policy that drives solutions, or in some cases, environmental turmoil. Human factors and behaviors are a huge contributor to the health of our fisheries so take the time to vote in local authorities who care about improving the future of our resources.