February 28, 2017

As recreational fishers become more environmentally aware there is a growing willingness and desire to fish more sustainably. The ability to go out and catch a reasonable feed and enjoy some time on the water with friends and family is precious to many of us, no one wants to lose this. Due to this we have seen more and more people asking what they can do to help, wanting to know how they can be a part of the solution instead of the problem.

So here it is.

FishCare, a collaboration by LegaSea and the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council, promotes a variety of techniques that everyone can use to make a difference.

FishCare is packed full of useful tips to minimise your impact on the aquatic environment around you, every aspiring angler needs to have a copy next to their tackle box.

Everyone knows that circle hooks are less likely to gut hook a fish, but FishCare steps it up a notch. For example, did you know that using a towel to hold a fish actually does more damage than good? A common misconception, people think that the towel is providing protection from the fish, but in reality, the abrasive nature of it (wet or dry) removes the mucus layer that coats most species. Damaging the mucus leaves the fish susceptible to infection and parasites.

Credit: Matt Watson

FishCare explains how to handle the fish with bare, wet hands with one hand supporting the head, underneath the chin, and one supporting the body. Or even better yet, you could release the fish while still in the water, dramatically increasing its chance of survival.

It’s the small details like this that can really make a difference in the long run. Just imagine the amazing benefits if we could all make a shift and adopt these practices. As New Zealanders and Kaitiaki it is our responsibility to protect our invaluable fish resource. FishCare offers simple steps that everyone can take to make a large contribution.

LegaSea will be travelling around the countryside to present this important knowledge at every chance we get. Boat shows, festivals and all manner of events that present themselves. If you happen to wander past we would love you to stop by and have a chat. Feel free to pick our brains or let us know how we can help you and your area.