The 2018 Annual Samoa International Game Fishing Association (S.I.G.F.A.) tournament was launched in Apia yesterday.
Anglers from American Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, United States and our very own local sports fishing community were welcomed by the President of S.I.G.F.A., Poao Francis Hansell.
“It’s great to see many boats out there, especially the boats from Pago and also many overseas anglers with us today,” said Poao.
“I welcome you all to the home of S.I.G.F.A.
“For the past 22 years, S.I.G.F.A. has been promoting game fishing in our pristine waters to promote our paradise as the best tourist destination in the Pacific and to showcase our beautiful culture to our international community.
“This is the 22nd year of hosting this tournament and from its humble beginnings; we would not have been here without all of you. I’m very humbled to be standing here in front of you past and present.
“To all our supporters and sponsors we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making this event possible. You have helped S.I.G.F.A. share Samoa to the rest of the world.”
Deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, welcomed the Anglers to Samoa.
“I would have to say from a Government perspective, we have taken note and we do acknowledge how this tournament has grown in the past 20 years.
“It has become a significant date in our annual calendar, especially of major events in Samoa and of course when we have such major events, the injection of money into our economy is very much appreciated.
“Malo Mr. President and your executive for the ongoing and obviously still developing work of your organisation.
“As the Minister for the Environment, can I also acknowledge your work in terms of the conservation of our fish supplies and your tag and release practice within your tournaments. The work that you do with the Ministry of Fisheries; not only inshore but offshore fishing is appreciated.”
The tournament ends next week Saturday, with a closing ceremony at the S.I.G.F.A. clubhouse in Matautu – tai.
The official opening included a minute of silence to acknowledge and honour one of S.I.G.F.A.’s founding members, Max Rasmussen, who passed away last year.