While most of his friends were studying or out playing football or baseball, Bryan Godber spent much of his youth fishing for largemouth bass in the water hazards at a local golf course. Playing "Catch Me if You Can" with the golf course superintendent was an added bonus.
He still clearly remembers the first 10-pounder he managed to land. Sadly, no one was around to share in his enthusiasm, so he hoisted up the fish and ran home to proudly get a photo and release the bass afterward. But his attempt to revive it in his fish tank failed, and he had no intention of eating it when he brought it home.
Thus he learned his first lesson about sustainability. He would learn similar lessons later in life, particularly when facing a freezer full of excess yellowtail, dorado or tuna fillets from the previous saltwater fishing season. It was the gradual awakening that many of us have experienced.
Fish are indeed a precious resource.
Motivated largely by the realization of what large-scale action could accomplish and perhaps a bit by guilt, he began to look at ways to start a wide-ranging movement. What if all anglers released even half of the fish they would normally keep? What if commercial fishermen focused on practices that minimize ecosystem impact? What if we considered sustainability issues more often when making seafood choices at restaurants? What can fishermen of all stripes do together to help sustain the resource?
Instead of getting directly involved with a single non-profit that would ultimately limit the scope of his contributions, he began developing and selling lifestyle apparel that sports a cool sustainable fishing message. He then launched "GreenFish Gives" and donated 5% of revenues to different sustainable fishing 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, allowing customers to choose which one to support with each purchase. Doing so would not only broadcast the message, but would also give customers, ostensibly fisherman, a voice in the movement.
Hence, GreenFish was born.
Today, Godber continues to grow GreenFish and spread the conservation message. When not chasing after his young children, he can be found in pursuit of numerous freshwater and saltwater game fish around the globe.