In Memoriam:  IGFA Representative and Barry M. Fitzpatrick Conservation Awardee, Todd Staley

The IGFA joins the sport fishing community in mourning the recent loss of IGFA Representative and Barry M. Fitzpatrick Conservation Awardee, Todd Staley, a beloved figure in the world of fisheries conservation. In 2015, Todd also received the IGFA Chester H. Wolfe Outstanding Sportsmanship Award. 

For over 30 years, Todd dedicated his life to working with Costa Rican fishermen, where he worked ardently to transition the local commercial fishing operators into successful sport fishing captains through education and instilling a respect for the sea and its resources in his pupils. Simply put, few have had as profound an impact on the sport fishing industry in Costa Rica as Todd Staley.

Todd was also a prolific writer, using his editorials to raise awareness about critical issues in Costa Rica, such as the capture of dolphins in the tuna industry and other bycatch, as well as illegal fishing practices of longline fishermen. His articles in Sport Fishing and Marlin Magazine not only informed the public but also supported the IGFA youth education programs through donations of the proceeds.

Yet despite his many talents, perhaps the most impactful of Todd’s talents was his ability to unite different groups for the benefit of conservation, and there is no better example of that than when Toddy successfully facilitated collaborations between MarViva, the Latin America Sea Turtle Foundation, and the Federación Costarricense De Pesca (FECOP) to co-author a report on the longline industry in Costa Rica to promote conservation efforts.

In 2014, Todd was nominated by Gary and Susan Ellis for the Redbone @ Large Crocodile Bay Osa Classic tournament, recognizing his commitment to fisheries conservation and ethical fishing practices in the Osa Peninsula. As the Fishing Director of Crocodile Bay Resort, Todd worked tirelessly to preserve the marine ecosystem of Costa Rica.  In 2022, he was awarded the IGFA Barry M. Fitzpatrick Award for his extensive conservation work in Costa Rica.

Todd was a charter member and past President of FECOP, a non-profit group representing tourist and sportfishing groups in Costa Rica. His efforts led to the ban of sailfish exportation from the country and the establishment of the Golfo Dulce as the largest area of responsible fishing in Central America.

Todd Staley's passing is a profound loss for Costa Rica and the conservation community. He was not only a dedicated conservationist but also a cherished friend, father, and husband. His legacy will continue to inspire future generations to protect our oceans and marine life.

The FECOP team and the broader community express their heartfelt love and respect for Todd, grateful to have been a part of his remarkable journey. Though Todd is no longer with us, his impact will be felt for years to come, reminding us all of the importance of preserving our natural resources.