A Code of Ethics All Anglers Should Support
It has been said that America's sportsmen are the orginal conservationists, and I think that's true! Anglers have a special connection to nature that requires us to respect our natural resources and fight for their conservation. But we also have an obligation to other anglers on the water to practice safe boating habits. Likewise, we should always be an example to the community by making sure we have the proper credentials to participate in our sport, and by getting involved in the policy discussions that affect recreational anglers.
At Bass for Salt, we've had a lot of interenal and external conversations about these obligations. For a lot of anglers, these are unspoken rules to live by every time they pick up a rod. For others, we've found that they agree with these sentements, but had never previously thought of them. Most importantly, we've found that people OUTSIDE of the fishing community are unaware of the strongly ethical conduct that anglers operate by.
That's why the recreational fishing community has recently introduced an Angler Code of Ethics, that all anglers should strive to live by. The code is as follows:
Official Angler Code of Ethics
From Yamaha Marine Group and Bass Anglers for Saltwater Conservation
*Note: If you would like to join with anglers from across America by endorsing the Official Angler Code of Ethics, please visit the link at the bottom of this page or click here.
1) Employ the best safety measures technology will allow to protect you, your family and your guests. (No boater should venture offshore without a radio, EPIRB and common life-sustaining supplies. Captain should comply with all USCG safety regulations and hold a current CPR/AED/First Aid Certificate.)
2) Captain should consume no alcohol prior to or while operating the vessel and is responsible for keeping consumption to a safe minimum for family and guests aboard the vessel.
3) Respect the resource; become familiar with the biology and ecology of the waters and the species for which you fish.
4) Take care not to injure other wildlife, including turtles, birds, manatees or other species that you encounter in your activities; be a good steward of natural resources.
5) Treat and handle caught fish with respect, and take care to revive fish that will be returned to the water within the best of your ability. (Learn the appropriate methodology.)
6) When harvesting is allowed, keep only those fish that you, your family or your guests are prepared to consume, even if you haven’t caught your limit.
7) Obtain all necessary licenses, stamps, or tags for you, your family or your guests.
8) Respect and follow all local and federal fishing and boating regulations.
9) If you disagree with existing fishing regulations, become involved in the state and federal bodies that decide those regulations.
10) Become an advocate for fishery protection so that your children and their children will be able to enjoy fishing as much as you have.
Now, some will say that the code doesn't go far enough, but I think it is an excellent baseline for starting the conversation. If you agree with the code, please take the time to endorse it by clicking HERE. By endorsing the code, we can show our nation's legislators that anglers really do care about conservation, safety, and the good of the community.
As always, if you have any questions, please do not hestiate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
Bass for Salt Team