Niels Erichsen has worked tirelessly on billfish conservation in Guatemala. Through his efforts, and with the assistance of other likeminded individuals, the National Commission for the Protection of Billfish was created.
The Commission brings together government agencies, universities and the sport fishing community to help ensure the fulfillment of existing legal regulations prohibiting the commercial fishing and distribution of sailfish in Guatemala. This important commission is now serving as a conservation model for all of Central America.
I want to share the joy of this recognition with all my fellow Guatemalan anglers, my friends within our government, my colleagues and my family.
All of our efforts working on the conservation of our precios billfish have gone into planning and executing a very thorough program coordinated through the Guatemalan Sailfish Commission, with comprises government entities and the private segment.
What we have actually achieved through this program could become the blueprint for regional and international conservation efforts. The United Nations program for biodiversity has endorsed our plans, for they clearly comply with their 2020 goals for Sustainable Tourism.
Catch and release guarantees sustainability and a tourism industry based on this principle is the perfect case study on how economics and conservation can progress side by side.
I pledge to keep on going and expand our Guatemalan Conservation Initiative to incorporate as many of our neighboring sport fishing destinations as possible.
Once again, on behalf of Guatemala… thank you IGFA, for this prestigious award.