Q: What are some of the problems that affect sportfishing?
A: Lots of them. Over-harvesting our oceans (the demand for fish is beyond our supply), pollution (acid rain continues to kill our waters) and anti-fishing campaigns are just three of the major ones.
Q: Anti-fishing groups? They can’t win, can they?
A: They did a job on hunting. They want to do the same to fishing.
Q: But there are 50 million plus fishermen in the United States. Shouldn’t they have a powerful voice?
A: We have many great angling associations, and their members give it a 100% effort. But what we need to do is blend and combine all these voices into one booming voice with a common mission.
Q: How can we do that?
A: Simple. Form a federation. Let’s call it the International Congress of Sportfishing or ICS, for short. It’s strictly a working title. We launch it in the U.S. first, and then we become international, because many of the problems facing sportfishing are global.
Q: Who would belong to the ICS?
A: Fishermen, outdoor writers, fishing publications, tackle manufacturers–really anyone who either likes to fish or has a stake in sportfishing. It’s a win, win, win proposition for the fish, fishermen, people who earn a living from angling, and most importantly for anyone who wants to preserve angling for future generations.
Q: Okay, that sounds great, but such a federation must be costly and difficult to put together?
A: Ten years ago it would have been a very difficult and extremely expensive project. Not today, because of the WEB/INTERNET. You can be in touch with possibly millions of fishermen directly and through their clubs and organizations via the WEB without having to pay for printing, handling, and postage!
Q: But what else can it do for me?
A: Through the WEB and with a few clicks of the keyboard, we can contact our president, congress, governor–or whomever– and register our association’s opinion on matters concerning fishing. Governments and politicians listen to numbers.
Q: Who owns the International Congress of Sportfishing?
A: Perhaps it’s the various associations, but perhaps no one. Just like the WEB, there is no owner. Obviously, there would be an administrative board to focus everyone on our mission.
Q: So you don’t have all the answers.
A: Of course not! There are lots of problems facing angling, and the International Congress of Sportfishing is a possible solution. But nothing has been scrawled in the sand, let alone etched in stone. There are many brainy guys out there who are in sportfishing. Perhaps some fishing organizations will think that the ICS is a good concept and pursue it among themselves.