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The_Gaffer
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« on: October 01, 2010, 12:37:36 CET »

Our recent fishing adventure in the Porto Rotondo Big Game Tournament provided us with a deep insight into the intricities of organising such  a big event.  From an organisational point of view, the event was extremely well organised, albeit the Saturday event was cancelled due to high winds. 
Gladly, we came back with a lot of lessons learnt.  These lessons will be applied to our forthcoming tournament later next year.  However we also learnt a lesson or two in strength in numbers.  I am referring here to the organisation Big Game Italia.  Understood, Italy is a big nation, with an equally big population, and so BGI has a strong following, considering that Italy is surrounded by sea, and historically, a fishing nation too. 
Malta, on the other hand, is an island surrounded by sea.  We are a small nation, but we are still a People!.
Fishing is becoming the number one national pastime.  More and more maltese (and expats, nationalised citizens, ect) are taking up a rod and line as their favorite pastime.  Those who have a few years of experience under their belt, have purchased a boat, and rigged up for costal or offshore fishing.  Others who already own a boat, are fast becoming interested in boat fishing.
For us to participate in the PR tournament, all six of us had to enroll as members of BGI.  The MFF is now also a member of the IGFA, as a club, but also there are some individal forum members who have joined the IGFA, including myslef. 
During our trip to Sardenia, we had lengthly discussions with the BGI President, Sig Santolini.  BGI are very active in Italy, and also within the required lobby groups in the EU.   These discussions are and will continue.  As a forum, we want to grow.  As a forum, we want to provide the best to our members.  As a forum, we want to push forward our agenda of sustainable fishing, while respecting the fish we seek to catch.  We are all for of catch and release, and have been recognised by the local fishing authorities as advocates of this by being the only organisation in Malta to be granted permits to fish for BFT on a catch and release basis. 
We would like to venture out further now.  We have the experience, and we also now have the backing of one of the largest organisations in the fishing world on how to go about this. BGI have ledged their support, and we very openly accepted this.
The Malta Fishing Forum would like to introduce the idea of setting up our own Big Game Malta organisation.  This organisation would be part of the Malta Fishing Forum.  Sort of the MFF would still remain the parent organisation, but we'd have the Big Game Malta group under the MFF wing.  I'll explain why later.  The BGM group would have the MFF site as its main website, with a dedicated board to discuss all topics and issues related to Big Game in Malta.  It would also have a separate governance, but accountable to the Malta Fishing Forum Administration.  Membership (VIP or Premium) in the MFF would automatically qualify you to become members of BGM - at least for the 1st year, until we set up the group nd get it functioning.  The BGM group would be responsibile for organising the coastal and offshore fishing community into one group.  It would act as a lobby with the relevant authorities, and will also be responsible for organising next year's costal/offshore fishing event.  I can tell you up front, that next year it will be that the Malta Fishing Forum proudly presents the  Oris Big Game Tournament in collaboration with Big Game Malta.  But more of this in the future.

Alot of prep work is taking place at the moment, and we hope to launch this initiative in the early weeks of 2011.  However, by February 2011, the group must be functioning because there is a full agenda for next year, including the first Big Game tournament mentioned above, with the possibility of some foreign boats participating, and some of us, hoiefully more then one team, participating in BGI fishing tournamants held along the coastline of Italy and Sicily.

I am opening up the floor to discussion now. Your thoughts, feedback, ideas, arguments, suggestions, criticism wil all be appreciated.

Thank you,
Joe The Gaffer
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skip
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« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2010, 13:21:56 CET »

I would like to propose that perhaps not straight away but at least in the 2nd year, the membership fee to BGM would also include a an IGFA membership. If we want to have IGFA sanctioned tournaments we need to have people locally as members of the IGFA. As a club, MFF has already signed up as a recognised IGFA club, going forward I would like to introduce an official IGFA sanctioned weigh station for record setting, and in time perhaps our BGM Malta Tournament would be part of the IGFA World Cup Qualifying Events.

There is a lot of time and effort that needs to be put in, and as Joe mentioned this is why we need to create BGM as a separate entity but still part of MFF with its own committee members and team.
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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2010, 15:02:02 CET »

Correct Nick.  As I stated earlier, MMF has become a force to be reckoned with.  It was through the MFF that we were able to participate as an MFF team in the PR Big Game Tournament.  Now the MFF has taken the 1st step and enrolled as a club member with IGFA.  For individual membership, it only costs $40 annually.  Each new member of the IGFA will recieve the by monthly IGFA sanctioned 'International Angler' magazine, IGFA badges and discounts from IGFA stores and entities supporting the IGFA.  We are working on moving up a notch in terms of competitions and fishing events.  We want our tournaments to be sanctioned by the IGFA, and possibly our Big Game tournament held locally to be recognised by the IGFA as a World Championship qualifying event, thus attracting more foriegn participation.  Remember guys, the IGFA word championships are by invitatio only, and one needs to qualify in an IGFA sactioned tournament to qualify.  This is not about competing in this event.  Its all about networking, and observing highly experienced anglers and the way they practice their pastime.  The reason why we (Nick and Myself) propose to have the Big Game Malta as a seperate entity but reporting into the MFF is to enable the MFF to focus on its core activities.  The MFF was set up over 4 years ago to address the needs of a fast growing general fishing community.  The Big Game Malta entity will concentrate exclusively on costal and offshore boat fishing and related events.  Thus freeing up the MFF to better relate to shore based anglers, inshore boat fishing, speareos and marine affacinados.  The Big Game Malta entity will be more concentrated on all types of boat fishing targeting pelagic species (Alongi, Pastardella, Amberjacks, ect) and denci, lampuki, BFT ( on a catch and release basis only) and other species. 
We would appreciate you input on this.
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« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2010, 17:01:00 CET »

good initiative mr.gaffer .. the only problem i see is the fault in the name .. why call it big game when all we manage to get (if!) is small game Smiley

wish you luck in this conquest
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« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2010, 17:08:35 CET »

i like, very very very much........ will read it again in the weekend as i'm on a tight schedule at the office
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« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2010, 18:04:34 CET »

Great initiative the_gaffer. What I'm a bit sceptic about is the fact that the professional organisanation will be an overshoot to what can actually be caught in our waters! we do not have the abundance of fish other countries have!
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« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2010, 10:16:00 CET »

It's just a name - it's true that we don't have Big big game in the Med, but anything over 20kgs is Big Game in our waters and we do find Acciola, Pastardella, BFT, and other species in those sizes. Still we value your input, we aren't going to call it Small Game, but maybe could be something like Malta Game Fishing
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« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2010, 10:24:32 CET »

Big game = big boats = far far away ??
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« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2010, 13:21:11 CET »

far far away = Shrek Smiley or more bazug  Roll Eyes
 
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« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2010, 13:39:12 CET »

there is big fish that can be caught........... between gozo and sicily we've caught tuna over 200kg each and swordfish of up to 80 kg....... sooooo, the fish are there, you just need to learn how to catch them. about a year or 2 ago we had caught 1 tuna 250kg 4 swordfish smallest 20kg - biggest 80kg and lampuka of 6kg. this was in june or july if i'm not mistaken. don't be mistaken that the big fish are only caught off the west coast 30 miles out and over... looking forward to hear more about this topic.
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« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2010, 10:09:44 CET »

Very pleased to hear this line of though, and as l mentioned in another thread recently....'moving in the right direction'.
I think that sometimes people look at Malta as a small country, but overlook the people in it with much foresight, knowledge, and ability.
I also think that you underestimate the abundance of game fish around Malta, and in the Mediterranean Sea.
Game fishing isn't just about going out far in big boats, once one looks at patterns in currents and eddies formed in close to sheer rock faces, one will relise the potential for game fish to be caught land based as well.
Commercial fishermen in Malta may already have a taste for what is there, with information passed on from generation to generation.
I think that the key for continued success is preservation of the species, so, catch and release should be seriously considered.
I look forward to the outcome.
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« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2010, 21:21:48 CET »

Excellent to see that you are aligning the Forum with a body that has influence on EU decision making, the more anglers who have influence on EU Fishery decisions, the more chance there is of SUSTAINABILITY being given consideration. Because at present its all about "how big a quota can we get away with, without totally wiping out stocks", its about time that changed, & this is a positive move towards getting out voices heard!
Well done Skip glad to see you didn't totally waste your time in Italy! Roll Eyes
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« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2010, 11:32:51 CET »

Blueskip - very intelligent post.  That is the strategy.  Our friends from Big Game Italia told us that we need to strengthen our lobby in the EU fora. 
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« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2010, 12:14:15 CET »

As mentioned above we will be creating a dedicated team to manage this new section.

The forum has grown well beyond my capabilities and if it wasn't for The Gaffer, many things would still be pending. The forum appears to self moderate itself now along with some intervention from our Senior Moderators but I'm pleased to see that in general major interventions are not required.

This allows me to concentrate more on keeping the server running smoothly and other issues like member cards, advertising etc etc.

From a personal perspective I will be taking a less prominent position with this new section, we've yet to see whether this will be created as an association or simply a division of the forum run by its own team. Whatever the set up, I would like to take more of a secondary role within the Executive Committee rather than a Chairman role and acting as the main liason between the MFF and this new group and of course using the leverage of the MFF to promote our activites.
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