When we think of fishing we think about relaxation and fun. Anglers may be partaking in this
sport to hunt for food or just for the fun of it. But this hobby is also performing an important
function. It is helping to protect the environment. Engaging in other hobbies can also have fun
results. With gaming you can get rewards like winning an Intertops casino bonus. The added
bonus with fishing is that you may actually catch some fish!
Anglers know only too well that you need to take care of the environment in which you are
fishing. You can still enjoy the hobby but need to know that good fishing is inseparable from a
thriving global aquatic ecosystem. The great majority of anglers show great respect for the
environment and go out of their way to make sure that the ecosystem is protected and remains
Protecting the environment
It has never been so important to protect the environment. Human endeavors are always
impacting on our marine and freshwater environments. The threat of pollution, from a multitude
of things, including from agricultural run-offs to industrial activity and sewage treatment works,
to our streams, lakes and rivers is always there.
As rivers flow through agricultural and also inhabited areas they become particularly vulnerable
to many pollutants. At the river’s lower reaches these can reach critical levels. Commercial
over-fishing is also causing severe threats to the marine environment.
This over-fishing is depleting the stock of fish and the gravel dredgers used by trawlers to direct
fish into their waiting nets are severely damaging the sea bed and this in turn is decimating
communities. There are also other environmental factors, including climate change, which are
impacting both the freshwater and marine environment and are affecting all kinds of aquatic life
Angling and Conservation
Anglers are playing an important part in looking after the aquatic environment. They are really
guarding the waters. They are the first to see when a problem occurs and can pass this
information on to the authorities in order that the problem be dealt with immediately.
This happened in Britain when some fly fisherman saw some killer shrimp in the waters. These
are a very aggressive and ecologically harmful species. Notifying the authorities of their
presence in the waters, means that it can be dealt and kept in check before it gets out of control
and causes real damage.
While killer shrimp may be bad for the environment, there are other species that are very good.
There are some aquatic invertebrates that are excellent indicators as to the quality of the water.
Some are highly sensitive to the presence of pollution like the Baetis rhodani, and only do well in
Fisherman will regularly notice and report any changes they see in the normal abundance of
these creatures, and others, as this may be the result of some kind of pollution in the water.
In Britain research into environmental issues is promoted by fisheries scientists and also by
anxious anglers. One of these issues is looking into the reason why the abundance of Atlantic
salmon in their area has diminished over recent decades.
There is evidence that points to a range of factors. These include issues of water quality,
infestation by parasites, which may stem from some poor salmon farming, problems concerning
fish migration and also loss of habitat.
Anglers are deeply involved in trying to restore the situation and help with conservation. They
are actively involved in collecting the facts, and also in the work of restoration which involves
releasing certain types of fish which will ultimately deposit thousands of eggs.
There are some anglers that have made extraordinary efforts to ensure the safety of the Atlantic
salmon. One such person is Orri Vigfussen, who is the Initiator and Chairman of the North
Atlantic Salmon Fund. He has been involved in the selling of many unsustainable commercial
fisheries and in the process saving millions of Atlantic salmon.
Unfortunately, even with all this effort, research shows that it may be not enough to save the
Atlantic salmon. Atlantic salmon’s habitat is in the sea and they travel to freshwater in order to
Studies show that because the temperatures of the ocean are on the rise, there is a re-distribution
of nekton and zooplankton further to the north. These are important elements of a salmon’s diet.
This will have a big impact on young salmon forcing them to journey much further in order to
reach their feeding grounds and causing a rise in marine mortality.
We do not know for sure what the outcome will be and if the Atlantic salmon can be saved. But
we do know that the situation would likely be much worse if it were not for the help of all those
anglers, scientists and many volunteers and organizations involved in conservation and looking
after our aquatic environment.
Species conservation: an angler’s view
The irony is that the angler who is actively hunting a particular species is at the same time
dedicated to safeguarding that very species. It may seem strange that many fisheries scientists are
also anglers. However, this is actually not so strange.
It is because they are so aware of the importance of conservation. They know they are looking
after the aquatic environment by virtue of their angling. These anglers are passionate about their
hobby. And will go to great lengths to abide by conservation rules and guidelines put forward by
scientists even though these may be end up being imperfect.
Interestingly, many anglers will throw back bass measuring less than 36cm in order that they
have the opportunity to spawn at least once.
We can all make a difference
Everyday we all make choices that impact the environment we live in. There are things that we
can all do to help the aquatic ecosystems.
Many of the products we are using in our drains, like phosphate which is in many washing
powders, is harmful to the aquatic environment. Phosphate prevents development in plants and
is difficult to eliminate during sewage removal works. Phosphate also produces the growth of
algaeo or cyanbacteria in water and is very harmful to fish and most other aquatic organisms.
There are phosphate free washing powders and dishwashing tablets available which will help to
lessen this problem and improve the quality of the water.
Everyone is able to help and contribute to the improvement of the marine and freshwater
environment. It is not just in the hands of anglers and scientists. Always report any sign of
pollution, or chemical spillage and try to pick up litter wherever you find it.
You can also help by making sure that the fish you eat comes from sustainable fisheries, those
that respect the habitat and leave enough fish in the oceans. This ultimately protects the health of
the marine ecosystem.
Angling and the environment are deeply bound together. Most anglers are very passionate about
what they do and are highly motivated to protect and conserve the aquatic environment.
Angling alters the way you view the environment.
Anglers develop a deep respect for the natural world and learn and understand the importance of
sustainability and the need for a natural balance.