The Future Of Sport Fishing In Egypt & Responsible Fishing Techniques

Without a doubt, fishing is both a sport and a hobby that will help you relax and connect with nature. With this in mind, we spoke to three experienced Egyptian fishermen, Ahmed Mitkees, Fady El Daba and Hany Sadek, who provided us with their vast knowledge of fishing in Egypt and most importantly, how to fish responsibly so as not to harm marine life.

fishing tournament

We started by talking to Hany Sadek, a professional fisherman and one of the organizers of the first-ever international fishing competition, the Orascom Development International Fishing Tournament. The competition took place on February 16 between El Gouna and Makadi Bay; According to Sadek, 14 teams from different nations took part in the competition, including Italy, England, Saudi Arabia and many others.

Many prominent anglers, influencers and world record anglers were present at the competition with the guests of honor including the heads of the fisheries associations in Egypt and Tunisia, as well as Massimo Brogna, President of the IGFA for Europe and the Mediterranean, Andries Maree, President of the South African Angling Federation and Thamer Habis , CEO of Saudi Arabia Water Sport & Diving Federation.

In Sadek’s opinion, “the competition made a great impression abroad as it caught people’s attention and should be a start for more fishing events and tournaments here in Egypt,” adding: “This competition will boost sport fishing tourism, one of the most lucrative types of tourism for the country.”

“A typical tourist coming specifically for sport fishing would spend an average of at least $5,000 a week,” Sadek says, “which is more than what a typical tourist would spend on an all-inclusive trip.” With this tournament believes Sadek said such tournaments can help Egypt “establish itself as a destination for sport fishing tourism as such tournaments have the ability to captivate international fishermen with a stunning setting.

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He believes the main message of the tournament was to spread environmental awareness and inspire people to get used to catch & release and stop fishing endangered species.

The Egyptian team won the Orascom Development International Fishing Tournament

types of fishing

Sadek then discussed the differences between fishing and sport fishing – which has a completely different culture than regular fishing: “Sport fishing culture and values ​​prohibit fishermen from killing small species. Killing in the first place is strictly illegal and as catch and release is one of the most important fishing practices, participants need to be aware of the surrounding species.”

Sport fishermen are primarily interested in preserving the environment and raising environmental awareness, as Sadek explained, if someone catches a big fish and immediately releases it, they should be very happy with themselves. This is because they use the lightest gear to target the biggest fish. He also informed us that due to their light gear, many fishermen enjoy the challenge of fighting a fish for almost an hour. In order to be able to catch the fish with as little equipment as possible, according to Sadek, you have to “be a real professional”.

fish species

We then spoke to Mitkees, who told us that “Egypt is blessed with the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea with around 250 different corals and around 1200 species of fish.” He then said that “each of them has their own unique wildlife and people offers a unique opportunity to learn more about them.” For example, Mitkees expressed that “The bluefin tuna are found in our beloved Mediterranean Sea and are considered to be some of the strongest and largest fish in the world. “

He then said that in the Red Sea, “Yellowfin is considered very popular for fishing.” Mitkees then claimed that there are other common fish such as “mahi mahi, amberjacks, king mackerel, dogtooth tuna, king mackerel, skipjack and bonito found in both seas.” We were curious to know if all of these species appear in the same season . Mitkees mentioned that “most of these species are year-round, but each species has its own season.” For example, “the mahi mahi fishes very well in January through February and July, and its off-season is April through May, September and December.” As for the yellowfin, Mitkees said that unlike all other common tuna, they always prefer it swim near the surface of the water and even migrate seasonally.

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Responsible Fishing

Sadek began talking to us more about the practice of catch & release, saying that “we try to release regardless of the conservative status of the catch. He said that while it is perfectly acceptable to keep one or two fish that are not threatened with extinction, it is unacceptable to keep fish that are threatened with extinction.”

There are certain species that we consider a national treasure, “the giant trevally is one of the most popular fish among international commercial fishermen,” says Sadek. He recalls personally meeting groups that came from the United States to hire boats and capture and release the Giant Trevally. Sadek then suggested that “this fish species is not protected at all, which is very unfortunate as it has such immense financial value to bring to the economy.”

To raise awareness of the issue, Sadek said the fisheries association now bans fishermen from fishing for this species in local and international tournaments. The association also dedicates a special number of points in tournaments to those who catch and release the Giant Trevally.

Popular destinations for fishing in Egypt

To learn more about Egypt’s richest fishing locations, Sadek first said, “Egypt should be one of the best places in the world for sport fishing tourism because of the fresh waters that the Red Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the lakes provide.” He explained that these Bodies of water offer a “great diversity of marine life. With all these elements combined, Egypt should be one of the top fishing destinations.” Especially in the Red Sea, Sadek says, “The further south you go, the better the fishing experience becomes due to the small population there.

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Fishing route in Egypt

Fady El Daba, who is optimistic that fishing in Egypt is on the way to becoming more than just a hobby, said: “In the last 4-5 years it has become more professional due to the number of tournaments held annually.” Regarding On fishing, El Daba explained that “there are several academies that teach fishing to beginners, Bluefin Academy for example teaches the basics of fishing and also prepares individuals to compete in tournaments.”

Daba also told us that fishing in Egypt has seen a steady increase, and last year for the first time: “Egypt participated internationally in a tournament in Italy and there is a team representing the country. A friend of mine, Omar Khalifa, also set the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) world record for anglers.”

It is clear that the diverse species of Egypt allow it to become a top fishing destination around the world. As these species are scattered across the Red Sea and Mediterranean, you can fish and learn about them and appreciate Egypt’s wildlife. However, we must keep in mind that some of these species are better off being released after being caught in order to conserve them and allow them to colonize and spread across the seas.

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