Marina Gibson is a fanatical angler who spent much of her childhood chasing salmon, trout and sea trout throughout the Scottish Highlands. Marina has become an AST Ambassador to help raise awareness of the issues facing the fish she prizes so highly, and share information on the efforts being taken to conserve fish and the environment.

Marina’s mother, Joanna Gibson who lives near the River Oykel has been her inspiration from the word go.

Joanna Gibson, “I like the fact that every river is different, not only in it’s make up, but in the techniques one is shown to use. The riverbank is the most peaceful place to spend time watching flora and fauna, as well as your fly line. Catching fish is very exciting, but bringing them in as quickly as possible and releasing them in a good state gives great satisfaction. The life cycle of the Atlantic salmon is extremely interesting, with all the miles it travels and all it has to survive in order to return to it’s river of birth and procreate. One can often learn much about the local history whilst talking with your guide or ghillie, this can be fascinating at times.”

Since those early days Marina has devoted a significant part of her life to the pursuit of every type of fish at every available opportunity wherever in the world that may be. Marina learnt to Spey cast when she was 8 years old and caught her first Atlantic salmon when she was 12. Since then she has fished numerous Scottish rivers including the Tweed, Oykel, Spey, Borgie and her passion has taken her further afield to Norway and Iceland in 2016.

The picture above is Marina with a Norwegian salmon she landed on the Reisa River on a black and red sunray. You can see the external damage she has suffered possibly from nets that run along Norway’s coastline giving each wild salmon a near impossible journey back to the river to spawn. Note the scar running vertically down the lateral line, tears on her dorsal fin and jagged gill plates.

To discover more about Marina and her fishing adventures please visit www.marinagibsonfishing.com

Mark has been CEO of FishPal for the last 5 years having previously held senior roles in Financial Services. FishPal is a leading International online fishing company who use the latest on-line technology and communication methods to meet a growing market demand. Not just an online fishing company but real people with a passion fro fishing to speak to in their head office based in the Scottish Borders.

One of FishPal’s unique services is to ask anglers when they are booking fishing to make voluntary donations to various river trusts and Mark was particularly pleased to be able to present the AST with a cheque for £16,000 at the beginning of 2017 from anglers donations. Further donations gathered in 2017 will be passed on to the AST very soon to help towards the important projects currently being undertaken by the AST.

Mark is a keen angler himself and enjoys nothing better than to be fishing on a river for salmon or trout, his role does seem to afford him many opportunities to fish throughout the season giving him real insight to just how well rivers are performing and the ongoing work needed to support future stocks of salmon.

Mark says, “given the ongoing problems we seem to have with only 1 in 20 smolts returning to our rivers as fully mature salmon, all the work the AST are doing to investigate ongoing issues in the Atlantic Ocean seem to me to make perfect sense and great that FishPal and its customers can help contribute to the ongoing costs of running such projects.”

Mark’s passion for fishing saw him introduce a new Junior Malloch Trophy competition last year to help encourage more youngsters into fishing and of course, the importance of catch and release. “Great to see so many enthusiastic young anglers getting involved and a fantastic day out on the Tay with famous fisherman Scott Mackenzie a fitting prize for the youngsters to enjoy!”

As an ambassador Mark is hoping to help spread the news about all the good work the AST is undertaking across the fishing community and beyond and hopes to help find new sponsors and donors to help fund further projects under consideration. Through the FishPal channels of communication Mark will also make sure that the key messages from AST are made available to the FishPal customer base further helping spread the word on how all the projects are doing with regular updates on all that is going on.

Great to have Mark onboard as an AST Ambassador and we very much look forward to working with him and the FishPal team in the months and years to come.

To learn more about Fishpal, please visit www.fishpal.com.