Sir Gareth Edward’s sporting career was peerless, winning his first international cap as scrum half for Wales at the age of 19. This was the first of 53 consecutive international caps without injury or de-selection until his final game in March 1978. Three Lions tours included the legendary winning tours of New Zealand in 1971 and South Africa in 1974. In 2003 a poll of international rugby players in Rugby World magazine voted him the greatest player of all time.
Yet throughout his life Sir Gareth has been a dedicated angler and as a small boy growing up in the mining village of Gwaun-cae-Gurwen his first trout was caught in the village stream. The magical beauty of that first fish, despite a mouth black with coal dust, inspired Sir Gareth’s passion for fish and fishing.
His lifelong love of angling has fuelled a passionate commitment to the conservation of salmon, trout and sea trout.
“I have been shocked to see the decline in salmon returning to their native rivers during my lifetime. This has been particularly evident in the rivers of my native Wales. With less than 5% of salmon smolts returning to spawn we need to work together to protect them. I support the important work that the Atlantic Salmon Trust will be undertaking through its Missing Salmon Project which aims to ensure that more fish survive their perilous journey. The data collected will give fishery managers and NGOs the information they need to help protect this iconic species not only in the Moray Firth, where the first tracking project will take place, but all around the country.”
As well as being an Ambassador for the Atlantic Salmon Trust, Sir Gareth is President of the Carmarthenshire Fishermen’s Federation. Speaking of the Federation Sir Gareth says: “The Federation is actively looking for ways of improving the aquatic environment and fish stocks and it is my intention to work closely with the CFF in order to attain these goals”.