GTA launches inaugural Guyana Fishing Festival at Makari, Region Eight

The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) launched the inaugural Guyana Fishing Festival at the Piraiba (Lau Lau) Lodge, Makari, Region Eight, on Friday. 

The fishing festival will be held on November 26 and 27, 2022 at Piraiba lodge. 

Piraiba Lodge, Makari, Region Eight

Director of GTA, Kamrul Baksh, during remarks at the launch, highlighted that the aim is to place the spotlight on sport fishing in Guyana, since it has tremendous potential to expand as a destination for recreational fishing, to attract international participation.

Sport fishing practices 100 per cent catch and release.

Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority, Kamrul Baksh

“So, you catch the fish, weigh it and photograph it and release it back into the river. And that is the sort of method that we want to advocate for, as it is very sustainable. And it would not threaten the population or cause injury to the fishes, ”Baksh explained.

Importantly, Baksh said the festival will lead to numerous spin-off benefits for the fishing industry since it provides alternate livelihoods for the locals in several communities within Region Eight.

GTA will continue to support the fishing festival for it to expand to other areas such as Essequibo.

“This fishing festival will continue to build out the nature and wildlife prowess that we have,” the GTA director stated.  

The GTA is also working with Region One and Region Six to develop their sport fishing and other niche products.

Proprietor of Adventure Guianas, Navin Roopnarine

Meanwhile, the proprietor of Adventure Guianas, Navin Roopnarine noted that sport fishing can generate economic benefits and employment opportunities. 

He noted one of the hallmarks of the festival is to demonstrate, locally and internationally how a sport fishing festival operates.

Scales and guides will be in each boat to certify the weight of every catch. 

Only photographic evidence is needed. The participants will be competing to get the heaviest catch. 

“One of the objectives is to bring neighbouring communities which include Fairview, Apoteri, and Rewa, together to showcase our sport fishing potential and how it can be beneficial to communities…and creating alternative employment,” Roopnarine pointed out.

Leroy Ignacio, participant

Participant, Fernando Li expressed, “this is my passion to fish. I love fishing and to come and participate in such an event and to hear the government of Guyana behind it, the Guyana Tourism Authority and our partners, Navin. Thank you for hosting us and inviting us…This is the first time something like this is happening in Rupununi. We are from the Rupununi and this is what we love doing. I invite everybody to come and join us.”

Another participant, Leroy Ignacio said, “It’s an honour to be here at this first ever event, this festival.”

Ignacio related that he is involved in all aspects of tourism including trekking, fishing, birding, and camping.   Persons from Central, North, and South Rupununi will be participating in the event.

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