Conservation Organizations Create Sustainable Fishing

By Tom Keer

Nov 25, 2015

Sustainable fishing comes from proper fisheries management, proper catch and release techniques, and a whole host of other conditions.

Sustainable fishing comes from proper fisheries management, proper catch and release techniques, and a whole host of other conditions. For some, the unsung heroes are the conservation organizations that lobby on our behalf. Oftentimes they are the linemen of our football game, and they deserve a shout out.

Remember blackened redfish that appeared on most restaurant menus in the 1980's? Well, that delicious meal put a tremendous dent in the redfish population. In 1977, the Coastal Conservation Association formed to protect not only redfish but also speckled trout. CCA has chapters in 17 coastal states and fights to ban commercial netting, implement by-catch reduction, support pro-fisheries legislation, among other issues. Whether chapters are building artificial reefs, funding marine science programs, or initiating scientific studies they keep their fingers on the saltwater pulse.

B.A.S.S., the "Worldwide Leader in Bass Fishing" does more than just sponsor tournaments. They also conserve resources where bass anglers fish and compete. Since the early 1970's, B.A.S.S. has developed a sound fisheries management policy and protected and enhanced aquatic resources. The organization works on erosion, sedimentation, reservoir aging, and habitat restoration. Healthy environments create healthy fish stocks, and to get to them B.A.S.S works on access, too.

And supports sustainable fishing through the Sport Fish Restoration. Since its enactment in 1950, state fish and wildlife agencies have received more than $8 billion under the program. The tax monies collected go to state fish and wildlife agencies for fisheries research, habitat improvement, aquatic education and fishing and boating access facilities such as docks and ramps. The Sport Fish Restoration program isn't just about more fish; it's about more access to catch fish, too.

There are a number of other fantastic groups that work tirelessly to create healthy environments, create clean water, and enhance fish stocks. They are all part of the team play that benefits us all.

You can also do your part, by buying a fishing license and/or registering your boat!

Tom Keer
Tom Keer
Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at or at