Fly Fishers International (FFI), formerly International Federation of Fly Fishers (FFI), launched its 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 Oregon in 2015. 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, past president of the IFFF. “This program fits in with our mission statement of Conservation, Education and Restoration. FFI 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” stated Glenn Erikson, Past Director of Conservation for the IFFF, “and it effects everything in a straight line from our rivers uppermost watersheds all the way to the ocean. 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 locally 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 US 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.”
Fly Fishers are encouraging its members to use only reusable water containers and to fill them from local sources. Thanks to a generous donation from Coleman, the launch at the 50th anniversary Fair started off with ten donated 5 gallon jugs.
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% reduction and any reduction helps in the long run.
In conjunction with the launch of this new initiative, FFI designed a commemorative aluminum bottle, with the slogan “Use the Bottle; Save the Fish” and original fish artwork by Robert “Bob” Newhall of Livingston, Montana. These bottles are available at FFI events. The bottles are also for sale on FFI's online store later in this year. Purchases can be made at the FFI Store .