Teaching kids the right stuff

Africa Marine & Leisure Expo to Promote Sustainable Fishing Practices to Young Anglers
 
From November 1st – 2nd, the eagerly awaited Africa Marine & Leisure Expo will return to Scottburgh beach on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast. The Expo has earned a reputation as a fun-filled day out for all the family, offering a plethora of entertainments and activities ranging from craft markets to events including the inaugural Strongman Triathlon. The purpose of the Africa Marine & Leisure Expo is to celebrate the ocean as an invaluable resource and as a way of life, whilst simultaneously encouraging all water user groups to get involved in efforts to conserve it. Consequently, the event’s many stalls not only showcase representatives from the spheres of scuba diving, surfing, freediving, fishing and more, but also provide a platform for conservation and scientific groups to promote their causes. The aim of the Expo is to inform members of the general public about the issues facing our oceans, and also to inspire them to get involved in initiatives designed to protect the South Coast’s unique marine environment for future generations. This goal is evident in many aspects of the Expo’s programme of events, perhaps none more so than in the Family Fun Catch & Release competition scheduled to be held on Sunday 2nd November.
 
The competition is open to all ages, but is geared specifically towards the younger members of the family, with prizes to be awarded to those aged 16 and under. Event organiser Dean Pretorius has praised the competition as an opportunity to instil a catch and release ethic in young anglers, thereby teaching them the value of fishing sustainably in order to safeguard the future health of our oceans. Additionally, he hopes that competitions like these will cause older generations to alter their perceptions about catch and release fishing practices, therefore inspiring fishermen across the age spectrum to release their trophies to fight another day. Mr Pretorius believes strongly in the value of this approach to recreational fishing, saying that “it is imperative that we as anglers promote this format of fishing in order to ensure the future sustainability of our sport”. The conservation aspect of the Family Fun Catch & Release competition will be reinforced with prizes offered for the best fish handling practices on the day- while parents are encouraged to flatten the barbs on all hooks used to ensure easier release. All competitors must have a bucket in which to keep fish prior to release. The competition will take place on Baggy Beach (just south of the Scottburgh swimming pool) between 9am- 11am; while registration will be take place at the Expo from 7:30am. Entrance fees will be R10 per angler, with a maximum fee of R40 per family.
 
The fishing competition is just one aspect of the Africa Marine & Leisure Expo that makes it the perfect day out for children. Kids of all ages are sure to love the event’s Beach Sport Fun Zone as well as an onsite bouncy castle- while parents will find plenty of opportunities for retail therapy and refreshment at the event’s Craft Market, Boat & Outdoor Lifestyle section and Food Truck Revolution Market respectively. For more information, please contact Vicky at vicky@wozaniafrica.co.za, or call 082 812 7944.

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