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IGFA Appoints New Central America and Caribbean Regional Council 

IGFA New Central America and Caribbean Regional Council 

IGFA announces the creation of a third regional council

A new council expands the IGFA’s global reach. 

On October 8, 2019, the IGFA announced the appointment of a new Central America and Caribbean Regional Council, following a preliminary meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in mid-August. IGFA trustees, representatives, members, captains, and clubs in Central America and the Caribbean participated in a two-week nomination process and recommended council officers and committee members. The nomination process concluded on Monday, September 23, 2019. A total of 51 nominations were received. 

Following the establishment of the European and Mediterranean Regional Council in late 2018 and the IGFA South America Regional Council earlier in July 2019, this is the third regional council formed as part of IGFA’s strategy to increase the association’s international relevance and impact. The IGFA Regional Councils provide a local organizational framework that encourages the IGFA’s strategic mission at a grassroots level and cultivates relationships with IGFA representatives, clubs, captains, weigh stations, and members.

The following individuals were selected as officers of the new Central America and Caribbean Regional Council: 

Ricky Jaen, Puerto RicoCouncil Chair

Ricardo Jaen (Puerto Rico)

Ricardo Jaen has been an IGFA Representative for Puerto Rico since 2000. A passionate and accomplished angler, Jaen has served as Tournament Director for the San Juan International Billfish Tournament and as a Board Member of the historic Club Nautico de San Juan. Jaen is an advocate for conservation and has held multiple seminars promoting ethical angling practices and proper catch-and-release techniques. 

Jorge Sinibaldi GuatamalaConservation Committee Chair

Jorge Sinibaldi (Guatemala)

Since his father and uncle introduced him to the sport, fishing has been an integral part of Jorge Sinibaldi’s life. Today, he shares his passion for the water with his children. He served eight years as president of the Guatemala Fishing Federation. An avid conservationist, Sinibaldi established the Guatemalan Commission for the Protection of Sailfish—an agency dedicated to preventing illegal sailfish harvesting in Guatemala. As an IGFA Representative, Sinibaldi’s goal is to engage with the next generation of anglers and promote conservation through education.

Ricardo Lefranc (Puerto Rico)

Education Committee Chair

Ricardo Lefranc (Puerto Rico)

Ricardo Lefranc’s passion for fishing has taken him across the globe. But his backyard fishery of San Juan, Puerto Rico, remains his favorite. He led the fishing committee at the Club Nautico de San Juan in 1997 and served as Chairman of the prestigious International Billfish Tournament in 2004 and 2005. Along the way, he has found education to be the best way to promote conservation. 

Costa Rica Federico HamplRules and Recognition Committee Chair

Federico Hampl (Costa Rica)

 Federico Hampl has fished from Canada to the Caribbean to Argentina, usually alongside his prodigious family. The Hampl family has garnered more than 100 IGFA World Records. Federico currently holds 25. Hampl is a strong advocate of educating fellow anglers regarding the IGFA International Angling Rules and promoting ethical and responsible angling. Recently, he and other like-minded anglers founded the Costa Rican Association of Fly Fishing (CRAFF). The association unites a community of fly fishers and focuses on protecting freshwater resources neglected by the government.

Honduras Mauricio Cortes Canahuati Development Committee Chair 

Mauricio Canahuati (Honduras)

 Mauricio Canahuati became an IGFA Representative for Honduras in 2013. As one of Honduras’s key sport fishing community leaders, he co-founded the Puerto Cortes Billfish Open, the country’s leading fishing tournament. The tournament donates tens of thousands of dollars to foundations and other charitable organizations throughout the country, positively defining fishing for change. Canahuati is a member of the board of directors of the sport fishing club Club de Pesca del Caribe. He is an enthusiastic advocate of catch-and-release fishing. 

Council Committee  Members  

Rules and Recognition Committee
  •  Horacio Clare – Panama
    • IGFA world record holder and member of multiple IGFA Trophy Fish Clubs. 
  • Jaime Fullana – Puerto Rico
    • Accomplished angler and conservationist with almost 4,000 marlin releases. Club Nautico de San Juan Master Angler.
  •  Rodrigo Guzman – Guatemala
    • 2019 International Light Tackle Tournament Association’s Top Angler. 
  •  Nassim Joaquin – Mexico
    • Founder of the Peninsula Fly Fishing Club– Mexico’s only saltwater flyfishing club and IGFA world record holder.
  •  Roberto Riguero Villa – Nicaragua
    • Advocate for ethical angling practices and catch-and-release format tournaments in Nicaragua.
  •  Ursula Marais – Panama
    • Panamanian Tourism Association member representing the recreational angling community in Panama. 
Conservation Committee
  •  Marina Marrari – Costa Rica
    • Science and Satellite Data Consultant for the Costa Rican Fishing Federation (FECOP).
  • Dalva Arosema – Panama
    • Marine biologist and former General Secretary for the Aquatic Resources Authority of Panama (ARAP)
  • Niels Erichsen – Guatemala
    • Co-founder of the Guatemalan Commission for the Protection of Billfish.
  • Julio Castaneda – Nicaragua
    • IGFA Captain and conservation and ethical angling practices advocate. 
  • Ronald DuQuensay – Jamaica
    • Instrumental in promoting IGFA angling rules and conservation ethics in Jamaica. 
Education Committee
  • Thomas Irizarry – Puerto Rico
    • IGFA world record holder committed to the promotion of the sport and ethical fishing practices. 
  • Todd Staley – Costa Rica
    • Angler education promoter and Director of Communications for the Costa Rican Fishing Federation (FECOP). 
  • Mauricio Canahuati – Honduras
    • Co-founder of the Puerto Cortes Billfish Open and board member of the Club de Pesca del Caribe fishing club.
  • Ramiro Ortiz – Nicaragua
    • Co-founder of the “Torneo Dorado,” an annual fishing tournament that aims to promote ethical angling.
  • Hendrik Marais – Panama
    • Former fishing director at Tropic Star Lodge and founder of the Outdoor Leadership Institute (US NGO).
  • Carolina Mederos – Dominican Republic
    • Fishing Committee member for the Club Nautico de Santo Domingo and billfish conservation advocate.
Development Committee
  • Jorge Sinibaldi – Guatemala
    • Established the Guatemalan Commission for the Protection of Sailfish.
  • Wally Heinsen – Dominican Republic
    • Founding member of the Dominican Light-Tackle Anglers Club and past president of the Club Nautico Santo Domingo.
  • Federico Hampl – Costa Rica
    • IGFA world record holder and co-founder of the Costa Rican Association of Fly Fishing (CRAFF).
  • Carolina Mederos – Dominican Republic
    • Fishing Committee member for the Club Nautico de Santo Domingo and billfish conservation advocate.
  • Angel Muntaner – Puerto Rico
    • IGFA Lifetime Member and owner of Tarpon’s Nest Lodge.
  • Nassim Joaquin – Mexico
    • Founder of the Peninsula Fly Fishing Club⁠— Mexico’s only saltwater flyfishing club and IGFA world record holder.

Learn more about the IGFA Representative Program

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