IGFA 2016 Hall of Fame
IGFA announce their Hall of Fame inductees for 2016
The greatest accomplishments of sport fishing are far more extraordinary than a great catch alone. Although skill is certainly the core of the sport, the most outstanding individuals in recreational angling have also been captains, scientists, conservationists, writers, and fishing industry leaders. The IGFA is excited to announced six new members to be inducted into the most prestigous club in all of sport fishing - the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame.
An ardent angler since the mid-1950s, Tim Choate has made numerous contributions to the sport of big game fishing. He has grown and managed numerous charter fishing operations and lodges throughout Central and South America, including the famous Fins ‘N Feathers in Guatemala.
Choate has been instrumental in numerous conservation efforts. Along with Win Rockefeller, he was a co-founder of The Billfish Foundation and served as its first Director. He pioneered the use of circle hooks to enhance the survival rates of released billfish, well before their successful catch rates were proven. Choate has also helped to highlight the importance of socioeconomic studies by governments and conservation groups to validate the correlation between sport fishing and tourism- noting the value of fish for recreation over commercial use.
Jerry and Deborah Dunaway
Together, Jerry and Deborah Dunaway traveled the world in their famous mothership operation, The Madam & The Hooker, in pursuit of big game sport fishing and adventure. In doing so, the Dunaways helped to pioneer many new fisheries and have had a resonating influence on sport fishing worldwide.
Jerry Dunaway began offshore fishing in 1969 and has caught an unbelievable 203 Atlantic blue marlin, 36 Pacific blue marlin, 96 black marlin, 10 swordfish, as well as untold numbers of sailfish, white marlin and striped marlin. He was the first man to have IGFA records for Atlantic blue marlin on 2 kg (4 lb) and 4 kg (8 lb) lines.
Deborah Dunaway began fishing in 1985 and has fished in 18 countries, catching an unprecedented 23 IGFA billfish records more than any angler in history. Deborah is the only angler to have held IGFA records for all nine species of billfish. In 1993 she also became the only person to hold current records in all nine species at the same time.
Chico Fernandez has been a resounding presence in the saltwater fly fishing community for decades. Fernandez has written several books on fly fishing techniques, and continues to regularly contribute to a variety of international fishing publications. Fernandez volunteers much of his time speaking at fishing clubs and events, or serving other anglers as an instructor at a variety of fly fishing clinics around the world.
Fernandez has also impacted the boating and fishing industry through consulting with industry leaders such as Hell's Bay Boatworks, Costa sunglasses, and a multitude of fly fishing tackle companies. Chico is a long-serving IGFA Representative, and was a founding member of the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT), where he remains active still.
Dr. John E. Graves
Dr. John Graves is a professor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) - one of the top institutions on marine research in the world. Graves was recently named to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC), which is the nation’s top advisory body for management of commercial and recreational fisheries in U.S. waters.
Over the past two decades, Graves has been a source of expert knowledge in the fields of fisheries genetics and has extensive experience in fisheries management and policy-making, which is evident by his 16-year tenure of serving as the chair of the U.S. delegation to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).
Vigfusson is the chairman and founder of the North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NASF) which received the IGFA Conservation Award in 2005. Vigfusson started his conservation venture by buying up commercial salmon quotas from fisherman. His commercial conservation agreements have been made on both sides of the North Atlantic through the work of NASF and its coalition partner organizations. These agreements currently cover 85% of the waters through which the Atlantic salmon roams, they have saved between 5 and 10 million salmon.
Vigfusson has received the Knight Orders from Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark and The Icelandic Falcon from the President of Iceland. Awards have been bestowed by Time Magazine, The Economist, and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. In 2007 he was recipient of The Goldman Environmental Award and in 2013 the French Government awarded him a knighthood order.
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