There are many people who find that fishing is more than just a hobby. It is a way of relaxing and enjoying what life is all about. The feeling of being outdoors is nothing short of perfect and should be enjoyed by everyone. It has been proven that fishing increases attention span, offers social inclusion, a sense of achievement & motor skills development.
September 2011 Archives
There are some wonderful global fishing destinations and the Caribbean is a favourite. Aruba, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, Bermuda and Barbados all have the perfect setting for fishing itineraries. Barbados, however, is the island taking the lead with it's "Fully Accessible Barbados" initiative. "Fishing is a fact of life" in Barbados so what better time to introduce "adaptive fishing" than now.
Here are some options which support the fact that fishing can, indeed, be enjoyed by everyone:
Blind Fishing: Lawrence Euteneier
For those who are blind or have vision impairment, meet Lawrence Euteneier, - a gentleman who has been registered as blind since the age of 8 years old. Lawrence specializes in arranging guided fishing adventures for persons with limited or no sight.
Lawrence says blind fishing is all about "feeling the bite". He has spent his life researching and trialing gear and techniques proven effective for fishers with vision disabilities. His guides are trained in sighted-guide techniques and blind etiquette. Adventures can be arranged from one day to two weeks in length and can include equipment rental, sighted guide assistance, transportation, meals and accommodation.
Wheelchair Users: Larry Cooper
For those who are wheelchair users, here's a different kind of fishing experience - nothing stood in Larry Cooper's way after he was paralyzed in a car accident in 1992
Six years later, after designing a wheelchair-accessible boat (Sport fisher) and adaptive fishing equipment, Larry was back fishing on the Sea of Cortez in Mexico.
Larry also saw an opportunity to provide others with disabilities the chance to enjoy fishing. Whether it is the excitement of big game fishing, twilight/night fishing for Grouper, Pargo, & Swordfish, diving with the seals or exploring the National Marine Sanctuary after a day of fishing, Larry can provide it all. As well, Larry can also top off an excellent vacation by providing a wheelchair accessible condo Villa Tranquilllo and a wheelchair accessible rental van.
Jim Hargaden founded Armchair Anglers, a non-profit organization enabling persons with disabilities to participate in light tackle angling in South Florida. Jim is building a custom, fully accessible fibreglass catamaran and his primary goals are to provide safe and comfortable day fishing; education in smart "catch & release" techniques promoting conservation of valuable resources and assist other programs in providing adaptive fishing opportunities across the country
In the UK, 54,000 disabled people hold a fishing license, of whom 1,000 fish competitively and the majority for pleasure. One such disability fishing group, The British Disabled Angling Association (BDAA), was founded in 1996 by Terry Moseley to help develop opportunities for people with disabilities to access the activity of fishing in the UK. The BDAA works with its partner organizations to develop new and exciting opportunities in angling participation, from grass roots to competition levels.
People who are deaf and who like to fish have started clubs all over the world so they can socialize, plan fishing trips, share experiences and teach others their sport.
The National Bass Association of the Deaf has affiliations all over the United States. As well, there is the Ontario Fishing Club of the Deaf in Canada, the Brisbane Deaf Angler's Club in Australia and the Portsmouth Deaf Sea Angling Club in the United Kingdom.
Having brought awareness of the possibilities and opportunities for persons with disabilities to enjoy fishing, Barbados might want to take note of the potential in creating programs/itineraries such as these offered by Jim Hargaden, Larry Cooper, Terry Moseley and Lawrence Euteneier,
The warm waters off the coast of Barbados offer ideal fishing for Barracuda, Tuna, Wahoo, Dolphin (Dorado), and the Marlin species. Spin fishing from the many beaches and inshore fishing from open boats is a popular pastime for Barbadians With this in mind, it would make sense to offer itineraries to accommodate the significant disabled Barbadian population as well as attract disabled fishing fans globally with the lure of appealing, adaptive fishing packages and tournaments.