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You probably recognize Carlos by now. His formal title is ACK Fleet Account Manager, meaning he takes care of all of our business-to-business (B2B) accounts including rental organizations, universities, non-profits and government agencies that are in need of outdoor recreational gear.

But beyond that, he’s a well-respected fisherman, a SUP lover, an offshore extraordinaire, an adventure seeker with the brightest attitude around. His Instagram feed will inspire you to get out there to do more and see more. It’s there that he broadcasts his adventures not for personal fame or brand awareness (although he’s a natural ambassador) but simply to share his love for fishing with the larger community.

As is often the case with fishing documentation, Carlos posts pictures of his catches. After receiving a lot of questions about whether or not he kills the fish that he catches, he came up to me the other day with the idea of addressing this topic in a blog. He told me that he often will pat and thank the fish after a long struggle reeling it in, and he doesn’t buy fish from the store (not even wild fish from Whole Foods). I was all ears onboard with the idea!

I know that his perspective, his personal truth and connection to fishing, will resonate with a lot of fishermen and women and offer up intimate and clear access to the motivation for those unfamiliar with the sport.

So here’s where Carlos stands on keeping fish for food, in his own words:

“Fishing connects me to the circle of life and death, the power of nature and adds unmeasured value to my food. I always see the harvest of an animal as a natural act. While the majority of people eat fish (and meat in general) in the United States, only a marginal number of people actually know what it takes for that meal to be on the table. I’m not necessarily talking about the time and work it takes, but about the rawness and respect that taking a life requires.  Im 100% aware of the value of the animal, the life that it had and the reward that it will be giving my family. Catching a fish is just a minuscule part of what we do out on the water. We see, touch, and sense nature at is fullest. Because of my lifestyle I have been awed by nature more times that I can count. The result is the drive and need to protect it. After all… For something to be protected, it has to be admired and valued. Fishermen do take from the ocean, and so we also give back, in the form of license fees and getting involved with organizations like the Coastal Conservation Association.”

To sum it all up, Carlos had a powerful, thought-provoking question to challenge the logic of those who squirm about fishermen killing the fish they catch but don’t think twice about going to the supermarket to pick up a fillet:

“Other than feeling bad about seeing someone killing an animal, do you wonder where your food comes from? I know I don’t.”

We’re not saying that everyone needs to go out and fish their own dinners; not everyone has the resources to do so and and more importantly the ocean’s current supply is unable to provide. But don’t judge Carlos for killing his catch, because fishing is much, much more than a sport to him.

Any other fishermen/women have thoughts to add?

Hopefully we’ve shed some light on what can be a controversial topic! We’d love to hear more discussion.

Comment below to join in the conversation.

 

– Larisa

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