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Georgia plans to introduce sport fishing

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, September 29
The Government of Georgia says it is planning to introduce sport fishing in the country, one of most expensive sports, to attract more tourists and increase incomes for locals and the state budget.

Recreational fishing, also called sport fishing, is fishing for pleasure or competition. It can be contrasted with commercial fishing, which is fishing for profit, or subsistence fishing, which is fishing for survival.

Georgia’s Ministry of Environment has already tested the sport in the country’s western Mtirala National Park.

Minister of Environment Giga Agulashvili says despite the fact Georgia has big potential in terms of sport fishing, only seasonal tourism is being developed in the country.

"In order to extend the tourist season we should introduce some new services. Sport fishing competitions are held worldwide, in our neighbor Turkey among them,” the Minister said.

Agulashvili added that Georgia and Turkey had one common lake, Lake Kartsakhi, where Turkey regularly conducted similar types of tournaments.

“Thousands of people arrive over a few days at the venue to participate in this tournament,” stated Agulashvili.

The Minister stressed that introducing the sport will also raise local awareness of environmental issues and get the people see the importance of a clean and healthy environment.

“When locals see the importance of such competitions and sports and start taking benefit from them, they will take better care of the environment and refuse to use illegal methods in fishing.”

“They would guess more fish in lakes mean more tourists and consequently more money for them,” stated the Minister.

Agulashvili said his Ministry has already launched taking steps to increase the number of endemic breeds of fish.

“At this stage it concerns local trout,” stated Agulashvili.

The Minister stated foreign experts also recognized Georgia’s potential in the new sport.

“But they also say we lack necessary amount of fish at this stage. If there is enough fish we will be able to hold both domestic and international competitions in this sport,” stated Agulashvili.