The International Federation of Fly Fishers (IFFF) launched their newest conservation program “Use the Bottle; Save the Fish,” aimed at reducing the use of single-use bottled water during their 50-year celebration in Bend, Ore., last week. The organization, that created the well-known “Catch and Release” program back in the early 70s, is once again launching a program to encourage its members to conserve fishery resources.
“The Federation has always been about conservation”, said Phillip Greenlee, president of the IFFF. “This program fits in with our mission statement of Conservation, Education and Restoration. The IFFF and its 17 National Councils have pledged to reduce the use of these bottles at their many events held around the country.”
“Our motto is ‘All fish; All waters,’ and it affects everything in a straight line from our rivers uppermost watersheds all the way to the ocean,” said Glenn Erikson, director of conservation for the IFFF. “When you see the damage caused by these disposable bottles, it is hard to imagine any conscious angler using them. Water to fill these bottles, instead of coming from filtered, but local water sources, is either imported from great distances with a high hydrocarbon load, or from fragile fisheries in some of our favorite watersheds and is completely unnecessary. Many local water supplies in the U.S. are extremely robust in terms of availability and purity. Plus these disposable water bottles use the equivalent of three bottles of water for their manufacture. Add to that the waste caused by abandoned bottles that end up floating downstream into the ocean, where they are broken down by currents and sunlight only to be harmfully ingested by our ocean’s creatures, from fish to sea birds to sea turtles to the seas’ smallest organisms.”
The Federation is encouraging its members to use only reusable water containers and to fill them from local sources. In many places, extensive recycling programs also allow the use of paper or plastic cups to be used and then placed in provided recycling bins. This program is novel in its recognition that not every venue allows for 100 percent reduction and any reduction helps in the long run.
In conjunction with the launch of this new initiative, the Federation has designed a commemorative aluminum bottle, with the slogan “Use the Bottle; Save the Fish,” and original fish artwork by Robert “Bob” Newhall of Livingston, Mont. These bottles will be for sale on the IFFF online store later in August. Purchase can be made at www.fedflyfishers.org/store.aspx .
About the International Federation of Fly Fishers
The International Federation of Fly Fishers is a non-profit organization that was created in 1965 in Eugene, Oregon. Its mission is to conserve, restore and educate through fly fishing. The organization hosts educational events throughout the United States through its councils and clubs and provides small grants for conservation projects. The organization is now located in Livingston Montana where it maintains a fly fishing museum and serves its 13,000 members worldwide.
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