Pro­tect our wa­ters !

Sportfishing Adventures - - CONTENT - Dy­lan Smith Edi­tor in Chief Dy­lan Smith

All around the globe, the in­crea­sing hu­man po­pu­la­tion is threa­te­ning en­de­mic ani­mal spe­cies, in­clu­ding some of your fa­vo­rite game fish. Du­ring our trip in In­dia, we were in­for­med by the guides that a mas­sive dam was going to be built on the exact area we fi­shed on the Ma­ha­ka­li ri­ver. Thou­sands of people will lose their homes and lands, and the beau­ti­ful ri­ver and fo­rest will be­come a gi­gan­tic deep lake. The dam will pro­duce elec­tri­ci­ty for In­dia and Ne­pal, but at what cost ?

I re­mem­ber when I was told about the dam, sit­ting near the bon­fire on the ri­ver bank af­ter a long day’s fi­shing, loo­king around me trying to ima­gine how this beau­ti­ful pa­ra­dise would look like once the dam is built. It seems like the on­ly means to pre­serve these kind of places is to make them pro­tec­ted na­tio­nal parks, declare cer­tain spe­cies as pro­tec­ted and find clea­ner ways to pro­duce ener­gy. As sport­fi­sher­men we must take note. In­crea­sing de­mand for wa­ter, the dam­ming of ri­vers throu­ghout the world, the dum­ping and ac­cu­mu­la­tion of va­rious pol­lu­tants, and in­va­sive spe­cies make aqua­tic eco­sys­tems some of the most threa­te­ned on the pla­net, It’s not sur­pri­sing that there are ma­ny fish spe­cies that are en­dan­ge­red in both fre­sh­wa­ter and ma­rine ha­bi­tats.

The Ame­ri­can Fi­she­ries So­cie­ty has iden­ti­fied 700 spe­cies of fresh and salt­wa­ter fish in North Ame­ri­ca as being en­dan­ge­red, amoun­ting to 39 percent of all such fish on the conti­nent. Across the globe, 1,851 spe­cies of fish, 21 percent of all fish spe­cies eva­lua­ted, are at risk of ex­tinc­tion as es­ti­ma­ted by the In­ter­na­tion Union for Conser­va­tion of Na­ture (IUCN), in­clu­ding over a third of sharks and rays.

We fi­sher­men know what to do ; prac­tice catch and re­lease, respect our wa­ter­ways, avoid pol­lu­ting and edu­cate fu­ture ge­ne­ra­tions.

Co­ver shot : our guide San­jay from the Hi­ma­layan Out­back hol­ding the tro­phy 26 lb mahseer of the trip.

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