SAN DIEGO— On Aug. 3, the Coastal Conservation Association of California (CCA CAL) honored sportfishing and marine conservation icon—Bill Shedd, CEO of AFTCO and chairman of the CCA CAL State Board of Directors.
CCA CAL, the sportfishing community, and family and friends have presented the 2023 Anthony Hsieh Conservation Award to Shedd for his lifelong passion, advocacy, and tireless work on behalf of ocean conservancy and recreational fishing access.
The award was presented at a gala that included a cocktail reception at the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute on San Diego’s Mission Bay, followed by dinner and the award ceremony at nearby SeaWorld.
“The Anthony Hsieh Conservation Award is CCA CAL’s highest honor, presented to an individual who has supported sportfishing in California, and has made meaningful contributions toward the protection, restoration, and enhancement of our marine resources,” said Doug Lasko, president of CCA CAL, and Okuma Fishing Tackle in a press release. “No one fits this persona more than the living legend and visionary, Bill Shedd.”
Bill has volunteered and dedicated his time, energy, and financial resources for over 30 years to marine conservation and recreational fishing industry issues while simultaneously running the successful sportfishing-oriented business—AFTCO.
Bill is a founding member of the non-profit CCA CAL—the only state-wide organization fighting for anglers’ rights—and has served as board chairman since its inception in 2015.
He is also chairman of the Hubbs/SeaWorld Research Institute. He serves on the board of directors of the Center for Sportfishing Policy (CSP), the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), and the California Artificial Reef Enhancement Program.
In addition, Shedd served for seven years on the board of directors for the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and as chairman of the ASA Government Affairs Committee for over 25 years. He co-founded United Anglers of Southern California (UASC), where he led that group’s efforts to develop the white seabass grow-out facilities to support the hatchery program. Shedd played a pivotal role with UASC in the successful effort to ban inshore set gillnets in California state ocean waters through the passage of Proposition 132 in 1990, now a state constitutional amendment.
Shedd started the AFTCO Tag Flag program in 1989 in both the Atlantic and Pacific, which significantly increased awareness of and participation in tag and release sportfishing for 18 years. He also served on the board of United Sport Fishermen, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, and the NOAA Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee.
Shedd’s efforts have brought him worldwide awards and credit, including the ASA Lifetime Achievement Award and induction into the ASA Hall of Fame. He was honored with the IGFA Conservation Award and was inducted into the IGFA Hall of Fame in 2023. His list of achievements continues, including the CSP Eddie Smith Manufacturer of the Year Award, the UASC Bill Ray Memorial Award, the California Outdoor Writers Association Man of the Year Award, the Bill Poole Memorial Award, and the Motor Boating Magazine Best of the Year Award.
“Please plan to join me, CCA CAL members, leaders in the sportfishing community, and the Shedd family in congratulating Bill Shedd for receiving the 2023 Anthony Hsieh Conservation Award,” said Lasko.