A special report: anglers awake! (before it’s too late)

On the surface, it appears that sportfishing is doing extremely well.

Leaf through all the lavish mail order tackle catalogs. Check out the national, regional, local and specialized fishing magazines covering nearly every facet of angling. Flick through a fishing book catalog and you’ll discover hundreds of titles on trout fishing alone. “Surf the Net” for a lifetime of armchair fishing. Tune into the numerous national and regional fishing TV programs or review the many fishing videos.

When once there were only six international fishing travel agencies, today there are hundreds. Women are not only attracted to fishing, but they are also guiding, operating their own fishing lodges, writing books, lecturing, designing and recommending tackle…and men are listening! Catch-and-release is becoming ever more prevalent (if only we had listened to Lee Wulff and others earlier!). And, fishermen are not only paying $500 for a fly rod or saltwater reel, they are trading thousands of dollars for a fully equipped bass boat.

Anglers must unite and respond to critical global issues

Chicago, Illinois–The demand for fish as food source has outstripped the natural supply in many waters and has created critical problems and a volatile environment for sportfishermen, animal activists and commercial fishermen.

Jim C. Chapralis, editor of The PanAngler, the first newsletter on international sportfishing, believes the situation is so unstable that it requires an immediate response. In the current issue of The PanAngler, he proposes an International Congress of Sportfishing, an umbrella organization that would enable sportfishing groups and anglers to cooperate and focus attention on constructive and responsible solutions.

“Many people do not realize what is happening in our oceans, lakes and rivers,” Chapralis explains. “The fact that the world population is growing by approximately 90 million each year and health conscious consumers are demanding more fish and seafood has resulted in serious shortages that have led to potentially explosive problems.”