The documentary Blackfish has brought a lot of attention to SeaWorld recently [some of it apparently unfounded — Editor]. I won’t argue that perhaps SeaWorld has outlived its usefulness in bringing attention to this majestic animal, but when it was started few people even knew about orcas.
The roots of SeaWorld were based on conservation of marine resources. When it first opened back in the sixties, little attention was paid to its sister organization, Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute. HSWRI was started “To return to the sea some measure of the benefits derived from it.” A very tangible example of this effort has been the work HSWRI has done to promote the white seabass fishery in Southern California. Recently, HSWRI was recognized by the IGFA for their efforts by being awarded the 2014 Conservation Award.
Sportsmanship and conservation go hand in hand – anglers who hope for more and bigger fish tomorrow invariably understand the need to release catches they make today. Since 1993, the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) has been recognizing superlative achievements in fishing conservation with the annual IGFA Conservation Awards, bestowed upon honorees at the yearly IGFA International Auction & Banquet. This year, the organization will give Conservation Awards in three categories at the event on January 31, 2014 at their headquarters in Dania Beach, Florida, USA and Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute (HSWRI), has been chosen to receive the Organizational Award.
HSWRI, an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in southern California USA, officially celebrated 50 years of its mission “to return to the sea some measure of the benefits derived from it” on June 3, 2013. Two months later, in August, HSWRI released its Two Millionth white seabass – a testament to the success of their vision and the support of the California recreational angling community.
The Two Millionth tagged white seabass, produced by the Ocean Resources Enhancement and Hatchery Program (OREHP), was released into the coastal waters of southern California, along with about 300 of its siblings, from the Institute’s Mission Bay offices by event Honorary Chair, Paxson Offield and HSWRI’s President/CEO, Don Kent.
Photos: HSWRI (top), Pacific Islander Sportfishing (above)