FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 23, 2017
Contact: Martha Wilson
(Tampa, FL) August 23, 2017 – West Palm Beach Fishing Club received the President’s Fishery Conservation Award at the 2017 American Fisheries Society (AFS) Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida. AFS President Joe Margraf presented the award at the meeting’s plenary session. The President’s Fishery Conservation Award is awarded for singular accomplishments or long-term contributions that advance aquatic resource conservation at a regional or local level.
“We applaud the distinguished contributions of the West Palm Beach Fishing Club and thank them for their continuous efforts to advance aquatic resource conservation,” said AFS President Joe Margraf.
Development and promotion of the red release pennant in the late 1930’s signifying a caught and released sailfish is among the WPBFC’s most significant contributions to billfish conservation. The red release pennant helped launch the catch & release ethic for pelagic fish and continues to be used today by anglers fishing around the world. The first officially permitted artificial reef in Florida, the East Palm Beach Reef, was established by the club in the 1960’s. The organization remains actively engaged in marine and estuarine habitat enhancement efforts. Other prominent conservation efforts through the years have included opposition to the Cross State Barge Canal, support of the federal Wild and Scenic River designation for the headwaters of the Loxahatchee River and advocating for the sustainable management of many varieties of fish including largemouth bass, snook, redfish, sailfish and swordfish.
Today the Club is an organization with over 1,300 members that promotes strong conservation ethics far beyond the Palm Beaches. Its close and long associations with the scientific community, plus other conservation organizations such as Wild Oceans (formerly National Coalition for Marine Conservation), The Billfish Foundation and the Coastal Conservation Association demonstrate unrivaled commitment.
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About AFS: Founded in 1870, the American Fisheries Society (AFS) is the world’s oldest and largest fisheries science society. The mission of AFS is to improve the conservation and sustainability of fishery resources and aquatic ecosystems by advancing fisheries and aquatic science and promoting the development of fisheries professionals. With five journals and numerous books and conferences, AFS is the leading source of fisheries science and management information in North America and around the world.