With a legacy of leadership in marine conservation, we take great pride in our unwavering commitment to preserve our fishing resources.
AFTCO and the Shedd family contribute at least 10% of company profits towards organizations and causes working to protect our oceans, waterways, fish populations, and access to ensure future generations can enjoy the spaces and sports we love.
A Dedication to Conservation
AFTCO’s dedication to conservation is rooted in responsibility, not marketing. AFTCO Chairman Bill Shedd has donated over 15,000 hours to conservation projects and advocacy across the country. Each year additional AFTCO employees donate hundreds of hours towards conservation projects in saltwater and freshwater, advocacy and research. Together with our conservation partners, AFTCO works to address some of the most pressing needs facing our waters and the fish that inhabit them.
Since 1973, AFTCO has worked to protect saltwater species and the habitat they rely on. Together with our partners we have helped provide funding and leadership for saltwater habitat and hatcheries, pass key conservation legislation, and worked to popularize and promote research-based tagging efforts. From the fight for clean water to growing legislative complexities, we're inspired to work alongside the next generation of recreational anglers to leave the ocean better than we found it.
Freshwater conservation needs are often highly regionalized and best driven forward at the grassroots level. Our local efforts are focused on supporting state agencies and regional projects through our bass fishing conservation grant programs. Nationally, AFTCO supports the creation of artificial and natural habitats, lake cleanups, the Bass Bus Live Release Boat, and our Fish Care 101 education content.
Defeating the Long Lines
Anglers and conservation groups continue to battle the destructive affects of the established longline commercial fishing industry on the East Coast, Gulf Coast and in Hawaii. While those longline battles are never over, no similar battle is being fought on the West Coast because there is no established longline industry. The main reason for that fact is that, some 20 years ago, AFTCO was successful in preventing the longliners from practicing their trade in California.
Removing the Gillnets
AFTCO played an important role by supporting projects to ban the set gillnets. AFTCO President Bill Shedd worked with Bill Ray to form United Anglers of Southern California (UASC), a sportfishing conservation group initially created to support the gillnet ban. Shedd served on Doris Allen's management committee, coordinating the economic arguments supporting the gillnet ban, and organized AFTCO employees and others in the signature gathering effort.
Hubbs Seaworld Research Institute
The Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute (HSWRI) was founded by Milt Shedd in 1963, a full year prior to his co-founding SeaWorld which opened in 1964. Many businesses and families create foundations after funds are secured from a successful business but what makes the SeaWorld and HSWRI story unique is that Milt Shedd started what later was named the HSWRI before there were any profits or even a business in existence. Well before others thought of it and even before the term cause-marketing had been coined, in 1962 Milt believed that in the future business were going to be required to give back to their community.
Protecting Fishing Access
Misguided groups are increasingly calling for recreational anglers to be symbolically denied access to the marine resource. AFTCO is not against science-based closures. We stand up against restricting angler access without a significant proven fishery benefit to overcome the angler's personal loss and the loss to the resource and the economy. AFTCO is committed to providing both funding and leadership to protect responsible access.