“We wanted to make a difference, and we wanted it to matter in the end,” said Al Perkinson, vice president of marketing for Costa, upon receiving only the second Lefty Kreh Sportsman of the Year Award from the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust (BTT). Perkinson accepted the prestigious honor at the recent International Bonefish and Tarpon Trust Symposium.
The BTT awards selection committee chose Perkinson because of his leadership, strategic direction and dedication towards Project Permit, the joint effort between Costa and BTT to tag more than 6,000 permit in five years across Florida, Mexico, Belize and the Caribbean.
The research generated from the catch and tag retrieval will help policy-makers and regulators reach informed decisions about protecting permit fisheries. The data will also help to shed light on questions such as: are the permit that spawn on artificial reefs off southwest Florida the same permit that inhabit the Florida Keys, or do they come from elsewhere; are the permit of Mexico a single large population, or are permit populations regional?
“Project Permit is very much a grassroots efforts, calling on anglers and guides to tag permit and retrieve tags for the BTT to analyze,” said Perkinson. “But we believed – and we still believe – in backing fisheries management procedures with true scientific data, and in mobilizing the angling community to help protect the fisheries we love.”
This is only the second time the Lefty Kreh Sportsman of the Year Award, sponsored by Bass Pro Shops, has been handed out. The first award was given to Bernard “Lefty” Kreh himself at the previous International BTT Symposium held in 2011. The recognition is awarded every three years to a person who has shown leadership in the fishing industry toward conservation, innovation, promotion, and conservation of bonefish, tarpon, permit, and other coastal gamefish.
Kreh is admired as one of the pioneers of saltwater fly fishing who helped develop the techniques that have allowed saltwater fly fishing to progress to where it is today. He is a leader in communication and instruction, passing along his enthusiasm for the sport and the fish in countless books, newspaper and magazine articles, videos, television shows, and personal appearances.
“Al has been instrumental in making Costa one of the top conservation supporters in the fishing industry,” said Dr. Aaron Adams, director of operations for the BTT. “His vision and energy helped to get Project Permit started, and has been critical to keeping the program moving forward. Without Project Permit we would not have made the strides in permit conservation that we have so far.”
For more information on Project Permit, visit www.projectpermit.com.
About Bonefish and Tarpon Trust
BTT is a fisheries conservation organization dedicated to enhancing global bonefish, tarpon and permit fisheries and habitats through stewardship, research, education and advocacy. BTT was formed in 1998 by a group of anglers, guides, and scientists who wanted to learn more about these fish in order to enhance their dwindling populations. Since then it has grown to include concerned anglers from over 20 countries, researchers from throughout the world, and guides committed to working with BTT in order to educate anglers and gather data while on the water. If you would like to learn more about Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, please contact Dan Dow at 845.239.6051 or [email protected] or you can visit our website at www.btt.org.
As the leading manufacturer of the world’s clearest polarized performance sunglasses, Costa offers superior lens technology and unparalleled fit and durability. Still handcrafted today in Florida, Costa has created the highest quality, best performing sunglasses and prescription sunglasses (Rx) for outdoor enthusiasts since 1983.
For Costa, conservation is all about sustainable fishing. Many fisheries that should be vibrant and healthy are all but devoid of native fish because they have fallen victim to poor fishing practices, unregulated development, lack of watershed protection or all of the above. Costa works with partners around the world to help increase awareness and influence policy so that both the fish and fishermen of tomorrow will have healthy waters to enjoy. Costa encourages others to help in any way they can.
For more information, contact 1-800-447-3700 or visit the company’s web site at www.costadelmar.com. Join the conversation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/costasunglasses or on Twitter @CostaSunglasses.