Miami, Florida. A summer Eco-Fishing camp is being held in South Florida by Mahogany Outdoors to teach South Florida youth catch and release fishing combined with environmental education about Florida’s water resources and how to ensure that the fish resource will be there for subsequent generations, according to Dr. Carol Cross, Marketing Director for the camp to be held in TY Park in Fort Lauderdale, Florida June 9 to August 15, 2008.
Eco-Fishing combines Environmental Education With Recreational Fishing. Eco-Fishing is sustainable tourism at work. A key component of Eco-fishing is Catch and Release fishing. Catch and Release is one of the methods Eco-Fishers can use to preserve our water resources and environmental quality. In Florida alone billions of dollars are spent by fishermen. Many fishing clubs are developing environmental project relating to habitat restoration, stream cleanup, and streamside plantings. It’s a self interest approach as fishermen want to continue to fish and thus they now know they must
maintain the resource. Eco-Fishing is a way of recreation outdoors that also preserves the environment.
The concept of Eco-Fishing is in its infancy but catch and release fishing has replaced much of the harvesting of fish in developed countries. Fisherman catch the fish, enjoy the moment, take photos and then release them back into the water to be caught again. To
ensure fish survival, tools have been developed like barbless hooks, dehookers that remove the hooks without damaging the fish and deflators which enable fish brought up from the depth to release the gas from ruptured or damaged air bladders. Fishermen are always seeking new way to preserve the environment, the fish resource and their opportunity to continue the sport of fishing. Other aspects of Eco-Fishing the children will be taught will include cleaning up fishing sites by removing discarded fish line which can kill animals and birds. This kind of fishing I call Eco-fishing.
How is the next generation of fishermen being taught this new style of Eco-fishing? Children need to be taught to release the fish when caught, how to remove the hook safely and how to not put their hands on the fish’s body because this removes the outer coating which could cause the fish to die when returned to the water. They will learn
about overfishing, poor fish handling, selecting good tackle, preventing habitat damage, and to ensure they do not pollute with plastic bags and other debris. Teaching Eco-Fishing to children is a vital service in South Florida offered by the non profit Mahogany
Youth Corporation, through its 10 week Eco-fishing camp this summer in Broward and Dade County.
In this camp, youth will combine classroom study of fish habits, fish identification, knot typing, ecological principles with outdoor casting practice followed by fishing under adult supervision. The children will have opportunities to go out on a boat one day each
week to learn boat safety and how to fish from a boat. At the end of each week, there will be a one day tournament, with trophies and prizes for the winners.
Enrollment in this unique Eco-fishing camp is $250 per week. Campers can enroll for one week or all remaining weeks. To enroll or find out more information go to http://www.satglobal.com/ecofishing_camp.htm .