Fishing is an unrivalled force for good when done with care and respect. In recent weeks we have blogged about things as diverse as salmon conservation and the humanity of fishing. What these subjects have in common is that they highlight the ways in which fishing can drive positive change in the world, both for the environment and for people.
That’s why we’re launching Planet Fish, a channel dedicated to the films and series that showcase the power of fishing to initiate change and the ecological challenges that various much loved species of fish around the world are facing.
Our aim is twofold. First, we want to shine a light on the issues, whether that be the plight of the Steelhead, as in Chrome, the dangers posed by fish farming, as in Salmon Confidential, or simply raising awareness of the diversity in the world sub-aquatic, as in Beneath the Waterline. We believe that by bringing the challenges that our favourite fish species face to the attention of anglers around the world we can help to harness the collective strength of the fishing community.
Second, as we blogged about last week, we want to showcase the human side of fishing. In some cases – like What We Fish For - that’s exploring what motivates angers, but as often as not it means examining the power that fishing and those who love it have to effect real, tangible improvements in people’s lives and on the environment around them.
Take, for example, Shane Anderson’s powerful documentary Wild Reverence – the wild steelhead’s last stand which tells how fishing the rivers he knew as a boy helped him to overcome a life-threatening ski-jump accident, and gave him a new reason to live: protecting the steelhead from the threat of extinction.
There is a third aim for this channel, one that is applies to the whole of Fishing TV. And that is to inspire. As we hope that the amazing content in our other channels will inspire you to get out and fish more - for a new species or in a new place - we hope that the films and shows on Planet Fish will encourage our audience to get involved in the wider fishing world.
That could be by going out and making a film about the species that matters most to you, starting a charity or fishing society to bring people together to take advantage of the mental and health benefits of fishing, or it could simply supporting campaigns to conserve the vital ecosystems that support the fish we love to target.
The fishing community has a long and proud history of activism and campaigning on behalf of the fish and the species, societies and ecosystems that rely them, while the benefits to both body and mind are well documented. By providing a platform - a home that shows off the good that fishing can do and highlights the very real threats that face many ecosystems around the world, and the way fishing is helping various victims of tragedy and ill health to find a new lease of life - we hope to make it easier for our audience to find and take on these messages and help to spread them into the world by sharing them with friends, family and loved ones.
We’re always interested to know what the issues are that face anglers where you live, so if there’s a cause you think we should be examining, or if there’s a campaign that you think needs a wider audience, please let us know. Who are the fishing heroes in your part of the world? Who is using fishing to drive positive change and what inspires them? Let them inspire us, and hopefully pass that inspiration on to the rest of our audience.