(CMR) Captain Arthlee (Atlee) Evans received the prestigious Tommy Gifford Award for ‘Caribbean Offshore Pioneer' from the International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) on Thursday, 27 October. Captain Atlee is the first Caymanian to join this prestigious group of honourees.
The Ministry and Department of Tourism have offered congratulations to Captain Atlee, who received the award at the Gala Awards during the 63rd Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, which took place from 26th – 30th October 2022.
Among his many lifetime achievements, Captain Evans is credited as having helped to develop sport fishing in the Cayman Islands, as well as throughout the Caribbean since the 1960s. He helped to place the Cayman Islands on the world’s sport fishing map and was instrumental in developing the Islands' pelagic fishery for blue marlin, yellowfin tuna, wahoo and swordfish.
He also has set numerous light tackle IGFA world records. Captain Evans lives and fishes in Cayman Brac and is a passionate educator who willingly shares his knowledge and experiences with anyone wishing to learn.
Minister for Tourism Hon. Kenneth Bryan and Parliamentary Secretary, Ms. Heather Bodden were both present at the awards gala, along with President of the Cayman Islands Angling Club Franklin Thompson and other Angling Club members.
“I feel so proud and excited for Captain Arthlee for being recognized by the IGFA in the category of ‘Caribbean Offshore Pioneer.' This is an amazing accomplishment, and I am happy that there was a strong Caymanian contingent in Fort Lauderdale to support him,” Minister Bryan said.
Adding to the congratulations, Dr. Guy Harvey, world-renowned conservationist and wildlife marine artist noted that Captain Atlee is the first person in the Cayman Islands to join this prestigious group of honourees, and he is also the first person from the English speaking Caribbean to do so.
“So it's a great, great honor,” emphasized Dr. Harvey.
Recipients of the Tommy Gifford Award are selected by a Committee of internationally renowned fishing Captains and crew, chaired by Captain Frank ‘Skip’ Smith, President and Tournament Director, who is recognized as being one of the world’s finest fishing captains.