Angling | Rural Welfare | Conservation
For 20 years, The PGFA has worked diligently for the betterment of Angling, Conservation and Rural Welfare. We ensure that ethical recreational angling (or fishing) provides value added income to rural communities through the utilization of their guiding skills to provide angling opportunities. Today, a community of more than 18,000 recreational sport fishermen or anglers across Pakistan practice sportfishing under PGFA rules, which are in turn based on international standards of conservation and sustainable natural resource utilization. This symbiosis of field sportsmen and rural communities working towards conservation has been the basis of the Pakistan Game Fish Association.
The Pakistan Game Fish Association is a non profit organization concerned with the sport of Recreational Angling, Conservation of aquatic ecosystems, and the welfare of the Rural Communities that rely on these ecosystems. We are a member club of the International Game Fish Association and their official weigh masters in Pakistan.
Field sportsmen, i.e. hunters, anglers and general outdoor enthusiasts the world over have played a vital role in preserving endangered fauna and flora and the threatened ecosystems they inhabit. In Pakistan community trophy hunting for example, where practiced ethically, has been a lifeline for species such as Markhor, Ibex and others.
PGFA online is a virtual encyclopedia of sport fishing information and social networking where thousands of anglers, captains, scientists, guides, tackle traders, marine biologists and others can communicate.
Our charter is firmly rooted in the principles of
- Practice and promotion of conservation based angling as the primary method of playing the sport.
- Improving angling related recreational and educational opportunities through record keeping and information exchange.
- Sustainable recreational & commercial fishing practices – The protection and continuity of key fish species and ecosystems should be the basis of all fishery policies.
- Helping rural communities understand the need for sustainable usage of fishery related natural resources for their own benefit.
- Using knowledge based approaches to understanding our sport and the issues concerning its future welfare.
We have worked largely through our own funding, time and personal sacrifice to achieve what we have today. Some of these achievements are:
- PGFA online – The largest online web presence and social networking site related to recreational angling in Pakistan
- Sport fishing Pakistan – The first quarterly publication on recreational angling in Pakistan
- Angling for Conservation Fresh and Saltwater Tournaments – the first competition that is based on releasing fish alive and rural community welfare
- Catch and Release Culture – We are the first organization to encourage releasing fish back into the water unharmed
- Tag and release program in collaboration with the Billfish Foundation
- Brought international angling stars to Pakistan to increase awareness on the potential of the sport and the issues preventing its growth
- PGFA/KPT mangroves for the future plantation project
- Relief Operations – flood relief via angler donations from all over the world.
Future plans and Support Required
Tag and release program
Unlike trophy hunting, where an animal must die to become a hunter’s trophy, angling has the unique privileged in that the quarry need not be killed. In collaboration with the Billfish Foundation (link) the PGFA takes part in the international effort to learn more about apex predators of the seas via the ‘tag and release’ program. Instead of killing a large pelagic fish such as marlin, tuna or cobia, a small biodegradable tag is placed on the fish before it is released back into the sea unharmed. This tag, when recovered, provides information on migration routes, growth rates, and other invaluable data which is used for better fisheries planning and to achieve conservation goals. However, the success of any tag and release program requires considerable angling effort in collaboration with the scientific community and as such we have been unable to create a large enough sample size of tagged fish due to a lack of understanding of how vital such research is.
Recreational Angling Facilities
Pakistan is perhaps the only country on earth with a vast coastline where not one facility exists to provide safe access to citizens for water sports be it fishing, boating or other forms of outdoor entertainment. The PGFA has struggled to bring this tremendous deficit to the attention of those who can help. Worldwide, recreational angling is a multibillion dollar industry that provides innumerable jobs, creates conservation minded outdoorsmen and saves ecosystems. More people fish recreationally worldwide than play football and golf combined! While the PGFA continues to create conservation minded anglers every day, the lack of appropriate facilities such as jetties, piers and boats creates a tremendous problem for the growth of this sport across the country. Similarly, Pakistan’s inland fresh water fisheries provide fantastic recreational fishing opportunities which could be enhanced manifold if the PGFA were to get the appropriate support to help us replicate our model of angling and conservation with rural community participation to the mutual benefit of all parties.