For the last year, we have been updating you on the advances Guatemala’s Sailfish Commission has achieved for the benefit of our beloved fishery. With the new elected government, new liaisons and new friendships had to be worked on. Everyone from Club Nautico, the lodge owners and sportfishing tour operators have participated directly or indirectly to keep the project moving smoothly towards its goals.
Within the last couple of months, major milestones have been accomplished and the momentum The Guatemalan Sailfish Commission is obtaining will yield immediate results for all anglers within Guatemala AND Central America.
Briefly mentioning the successes obtained:
– United Nations Fund for Biodiversity has officially categorized Sportfishing in Guatemala as a key activity within the Sustainable Tourism Initiative for the next 10 years. The first study regarding Sportfishing Economics for Guatemala and its impact within the local economy has been assigned and preliminary results are demonstrating huge financial benefits for the country. The most relevant issue here being SUSTAINABLE TOURISM – Catch & Release! Achieving this recognition is the beginning of a very interesting path for worldwide conservation issues and Guatemala is leading the way.
– Guatemala’s Ministry of Fisheries has requested that Central America’s Governmental Agency for Fisheries include Sportfishing Tourism as a Core Regional Development Topic, with the direct support of Guatemala’s Sailfish Commission. OSPESCA and its lead officer, Mario Gonzalez meets with Guatemala’s Top Officers within the ministry to discuss the potential for a REGIONAL project for the Conservation of the billfish within all of Central America.
“The model for conservation Guatemala has adopted through the Commission and the Tourism sector should be the benchmark for the region,” stated Mr. Gonzalez.
“We will evaluate all political aspects regarding this initiative in order to obtain regional status for the Commission.”
Every bit of support adds up when talking conservation. The Guatemala Sailfish Commission is doing a great job locally, but being able to export these ideas throughout the Central American Pacific coast is key for the future.
As stated by Dr Nelson Ehrhardt from The University of Miami and lead scientist for the Central America Billfish Association (CABA), “I am sure we have a huge and unique opportunity to achieve regional milestones that we have never dreamed of in regards to conservation of the billfish. Hopefully, all governments will understand the positive economic impact sportfishing tourism will provide to their local economies.”
Niels Erichsen devotes much of his off time leading the way with Guatemala’s Sailfish Commission. He understands Pacific Fins’ future depends on high catch & release indexes and billfish are the key element!
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