Angling For A Better World: Top Fishing Charities & Trusts You Can Help

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It goes without question that we anglers, whether we love fly fishing, offshore fishing, spin fishing, or coarse fishing, care about our fishing waters more than your average human. 

Fishing brings something to our lives that nothing else can, creating a deep connection between us, where we fish, and the fish we intend to catch. Watching a fishery you have grown up enjoying go downhill is one of the hardest things to see, but luckily, there are some great fishing charities worldwide fighting to protect them. 

Unfortunately, the world is becoming smaller every day, and with human populations skyrocketing, the waters we fish in and our connection with them are under threat. By supporting the great fishing charities in this article, we can help keep them healthy for generations. 

The Billfish Foundation 

Billfish logo
The Billfish logo is well known to saltwater anglers across the world

One of the most well-known international fishing charities in the world is, without a doubt, the Billfish Foundation. I have been a part of their tagging program since I was 12 years old and have used their systems everywhere, from fishing in Seychelles to Kenya, Madeira, Costa Rica, and more. 

As the name might suggest, the Billfish Foundation is all about the conservation of billfish and their associated species around the globe with the goal of improving the health of oceans and the economies that go with it, like sport fishing. 

TBF uses a multi-dimensional approach to conserve billfish using science, research, socioeconomic, and educational avenues to protect these incredible fish species. 

If you have been offshore fishing, chances are that the boat had a Billfish Foundation sticker on it and used BF tags, no matter where in the world you did it. 

Their tagging program has given the scientific world a huge insight into billfish migration. Their new satellite tagging program is recording better data than ever to conserve these fish for generations. 

They research to find the data and use it to educate the sport fishing and commercial fishing fleets to preserve Billfish and other pelagics. They are worthy of our support, and becoming a member takes just one click of a button directly on their website. 


The next fishing charity we will look at is named Indifly, and chances are you have never heard of them unless you’re into fly fishing. 

Indifly stands for indigenous fly fishing, and that is what it is all about, in a nutshell. If you are a fly fisherman, then you will know that the best fly fishing on the planet is in places where the ecosystem is as untouched by humans as possible. 

Fly fishing is a very hard method to catch fish, and you need to fish in a healthy ecosystem for it to work. 

Indifly empowers indigenous communities to create, own, and operate fly fishing ecotourism businesses. This, in turn, creates a sustainable living for the community and empowers environmental stewardship. Suddenly, the fish are worth more alive than they are dead and sold at the market. 

Indifly’s first success story is Rewa Eco Lodge in Guyana. They discovered some incredible arapaima fishing deep in the Amazon jungle of Guyana and provided the support required for the indigenous tribe to create a fly fishing lodge. 

The area was under threat from logging and mining since the indigenous people had very little income. But instead of sacrificing their pristine environment to major logging and mining corporations, they now make a good living by hosting and guiding fly anglers at their lodge. 

Check out their global project initiatives, where they intend to repeat these efforts. They already have sites on Anaa Atoll in French Polynesia and the Wind River Reservation in the USA. 

If you love to go fly fishing and travel to remote parts of the world to do it, this fishing charity will keep your dreams alive. You can donate directly (IRS as tax-exempt) to help the cause of indigenous peoples to be empowered to create business and environmental stewardship.

Salmon & Trout Conservation 

Salmon & Trout Conservation is another excellent fishing charity that focuses its work on protecting the rivers and lakes of the UK to preserve the wild salmon and trout that call them home.

Salmon and trout populations, as you might know, are an indicator of the health of a river system, and a healthy system supports all the wildlife that depends on it. If trout and salmon choose not to be in rivers or die in them, it’s a sure sign that the river requires a lot of help. 

Established in 1903, Salmon & Trout Conservation has been a major voice trying to protect the waterways of the UK. They do so via lobbying government policy, influencing industrial practices, and changing individual behaviours concerning the health of the UK’s waterways.

All the group’s efforts have given measurable results over the last 100 years, leading to healthier wild fish stocks, improved biodiversity, and less pollution in UK rivers, lakes, and oceans.

One of Salmon & Trout Conservation’s major battles currently is with industrial salmon farming around the sea lochs of Scotland. 

Atlantic Salmon are on the brink of hitting the endangered list, and Scotland’s wild salmon and sea trout population has dropped by 70% since the 1970s. The sea lice and diseases created by the salmon farms are killing these wild fish and it needs to be stopped. 

You can do two things to help, one is to donate through their website or become a member and the other is never to eat farmed salmon again. You can find wild Alaskan sockeye salmon in the shops, which are both wild, sustainably fished, taste better, and are healthier for you. 

Wild Trout Trust  

The Wild Trout Trust is a fishing charity similar to the Salmon & Trout Conservation as they are also about protecting wild fish in UK rivers and, thus, the health of the entire ecosystem. 

The Wild Trout Trust isn’t about lobbying the government; it is about getting their hands dirty and making change through practical work that will improve the habitat for trout across both the UK and Ireland. 

Despite having a small team, the trust has a huge impact through partnerships. They work with everyone from river trusts to Wildlife Trusts, local conservation volunteer groups, fishing clubs, landowners, Government Agencies, and many more.

They provide their partner with expert advice on how to improve their waters and assist with the practical project delivery side of things. This all goes hand in hand with protecting the ecosystem; if the trout are happy, the river and all the wildlife are happy, too. 

Everything the Wild Trout Trust does is based on scientific evidence, and its approach is holistic to protect and improve entire habitats and ecosystems. 

While they don’t lobby government policies, they partner with organizations that do and support them with their specialist expertise, which lies in key issues such as dredging, abstraction, diffuse pollution, and hydropower. 

The Wild Trout Trust has over ten current projects running across the UK and Ireland, each focusing on a specific river and improving its overall health. You can become a member or donate to the trust, where you can receive many benefits, including members-only fishing weekends and a high-quality printed journal called Salmo Trutta.

Atlantic Salmon Trust 

Atlantic salmon conservation
Conservation notices are becoming more
common to see near Atlantic salmon rivers

The Atlantic Salmon Trust is another fishing charity based in the UK that is about one thing. That is to…..

“Fighting to halt the dramatic decline in wild Atlantic salmon stocks, the trust is on a mission to protect this iconic species and safeguard their future.”

The Atlantic Salmon Trust exists solely to protect wild salmon and sea trout. They aim to create a positive future for these at-risk species by using scientific research to understand their decline and using their funding to put evidence-based solutions into practice.

“Wild Atlantic salmon are an iconic species with a remarkable history. They are uniquely placed to inform us of the quality of UK waters and form an incredibly important part of the ecosystem of our rivers. We cannot afford to lose them, so everything we do at the trust is designed to put wild salmon first.”

Some of the projects the trust runs are incredible, including tagging and tracking salmon and smolts as they leave river systems. 

Their findings have shown that many salmon and smolts don’t even make it to the sea to return in the years to come, and once their results are definitive, they will be able to remove the obstacles blocking their migration to the ocean. 

This is just one example of the amazing work the group is doing to protect these fish and the waters they swim in. The decline of Atlantic Salmon is quite a tragedy and one we can reverse. You can donate here if you would like to help

Reeling Up 

This article only scratches the surface regarding all the amazing organizations out there protecting our fisheries, as there are 100s that have not been mentioned. To all of you, thank you. 

It is up to everyone who has a connection to the water and what swims inside it to make a difference. Money talks, and if we don’t talk louder, then sooner or later, some of the amazing places we call a home away from home may not be the same any longer. 

Thanks very much for reading my article about fishing charities across the world. I hope you enjoyed it and found it both useful and informative. Please check out my related article on fishing with disabilities, which explains all the aspects of disabled anglers and how we can assist them better.

Jamie Melvin