Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Sports fishing guide and conservation advocate Omar Arceo attends BTT’s annual Symposium in Florida, USA

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Islander Omar Arceo, affectionately known as the Dr. of the Flats in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, returned to his home island over the weekend after attending the 7th International Science Symposium and Flats Expo held in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, USA. Arceo was one of the panelists discussing and answering questions in the Permit panel section of the event.
The annual event, held at the PGA National Resort from November 4-5, was organized by the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT). Under the theme ‘Conservation Connections,’ the symposium emphasized known management needs with actionable science. It brought together stakeholders, government agencies, scientists, writers, artists, industry leaders and fishing, anglers, and guides from around the world of fishing flats. One of those anglers and guides was islander Omar Arceo, who joined the prestigious event to celebrate conservation resources and advanced work.
The two-day event featured presentations on important fishery-related research projects conducted by BTT and collaborating scientists. Arceo joined a one-hour-and-a-half discussion on Permits on Saturday, November 5th, around 3:30PM. Arceo told The San Pedro Sun it was an exciting experience and is very grateful for the opportunity. He said that many attendees know the challenges of the flats and fly-fishing industry. These challenges in coastal developments threaten the flats where species such as tarpon, bonefish, and permit thrive. Should these areas (flats) be negatively affected by irresponsible development and tourism projects, like overwater structures, the multi-millionaire fly-fishing could end off the coast of Ambergris Caye and other parts of the country.
Arceo stated that during his visit to Florida, he had the opportunity to fly fishing. Besides being a fun experience, Arceo said there were no overwater structures around the areas he fished. Arceo reiterated that environmentalists and fly-fishing stakeholders are not against development but believe there needs to be a balance for everybody to win. The key is sustainable development, respecting nature, and co-existing with its resources.
The event also included a Saltwater Flats Expo, featuring top fishing and boating companies sharing information about their latest products. This expo also highlighted the companies’ commitment to conservation.

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