In an unprecedented and frankly ridiculous decision, the Colombian Supreme Court (Full Chamber of the Constitutional Court) banned sport fishing in that country. This under a lawsuit that argued that sport fishing “was a form of animal abuse that violates the right to the protection of a healthy environment”.
And we all wonder what the Supreme Court judges thought of such an argument, because I guess they asked the plaintiffs for evidence to support their claim. Well, no evidence at all, since no scientific evidence was provided.
So they just prohibited it because of the “precautionary principle” in which they say “according to which even in the absence of scientific certainty about a damage or its magnitude (to the environment) produced by a certain activity, it is necessary the intervention of the State in order to avoid the degradation of the environment“.
And as simple as that, the prohibition of sport fishing in Colombia was decreed, which will take effect as of 2023.
Check out how amazing and incredible sport fishing in Colombia is
We were lucky that the popular Mexican youtuber and Angler Juan Ro had just made a trip to Colombia showing us the unparalleled fishing there. We will show here some of his videos that he uploaded to his channel which we highly recommend.
This happens when judges have no idea what sport fishing entails, since this “precautionary” measure can in itself cause exactly the opposite effect, bringing with it a negative impact on the environment for the following reasons:
1) All those in the sport fishing sector are actively involved in the care of their environment because it is from the environment that they generate their income. The logic is very simple, if they depredate the fish, their livelihood is finished.
2) Anglers are opposed to uncontrolled industrial fishing because of the negative impact it has on sport fishing. They are always fighting for industrial fishing to be regulated, for some species to be excluded for industrial fishing, for fishing limits to exist, they denounce prohibited industrial fishing techniques, they monitor and, if necessary, denounce when fishing bans are not respected, among many other actions.
Double fishing for Tucunare in the Tomo river
This is Colombia!
3) Sport fishing is a very important source of employment in remote regions with very high poverty rates. Without sport fishing these people would be looking for other sources of income doing activities that have a negative impact on the environment such as: artisanal and industrial fishing, agriculture with land clearing, logging for timber marketing, etc.
4) Most of the sport fishing in the American continent is adopting the practice of catch-and-release. Banning fishing will not end sport fishing activity, but rather people will go fishing “outside the law” and the government will not be able to monitor or enforce the ban. In other words, despite the ban, a “black market” for sport fishing will be generated. This will create an environment where the adoption of catch-and-release fishing cannot be ensured or regulated. Therefore, the prohibition will not stop fishing, but it will make it less responsible with the environment and years of environmental culture will be lost.
5) Sport fishing in Colombia is already regulated since there are prohibited areas for this kind of activity such as National Natural Parks and management and conservation districts, as well as territories where only some types of fishing activities can be carried out. Therefore, a complete prohibition without differentiating species, territories and seasons does not make any sense in terms of environmental policy.
It is a shame that a few “geniuses” with power can threaten the great sport fishing in Colombia which is possible thanks to the efforts of hundreds of tour operators, fishing guides, fishing stores, sport clubs and schools.
We invite you to personally experience sport fishing in Colombia (before its ban in 2023), to go deep into its jungle and rivers, to meet its people and enjoy incredible catches. Get in touch with the nomonday.mx team. Here are some videos of this great experience.
Fishing for Giant Toucans in the Vichada River
Giant toucanare capture with a spinnerbait
Incredible lagoons around Rio Tomo
Capture of 17-pound Tucanare from minute 13 of the video.