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IGFA Appoints New Africa Regional Council

DANIA BEACH, Fla. – The International Game Fish Association (IGFA), a global nonprofit organization committed to the conservation of game fish, has announced the appointment of a new Africa Regional Council. The sixth regional council was formed as part of the IGFA’s strategic vision to build operational frameworks to allow IGFA Representatives, Captains and Members to work more effectively on projects that support vibrant and productive fisheries in their respective regions.

IGFA Regional Councils are made up of elected IGFA Trustees, Representatives, Members, and Captains as well as members of select local recreational angling NGOs who represent the interests, fisheries, and issues affecting specific areas within the council’s purview.

“The establishment of the Africa Regional Council is a significant milestone for the IGFA, and we are excited to have this dedicated group of individuals working with us to advance our global mission,” said IGFA President Jason Schratwieser. “We look forward to collaborating with the Africa Regional Council and leveraging their expertise to drive positive change for game fish and their habitats.”

IGFA Representatives and Trustees in the Africa region participated in a two-week nomination process to recommend council officers and committee members. The nomination process concluded on Monday, February 27, 2023, with over 21 nominations received. The following individuals were selected as officers of the new IGFA Africa Regional Council:

Council Chair – Johan Zietsman, Ghana
Johan Zietsman served as an IGFA Representative in Ghana, Africa from 1999 until he was appointed as an IGFA Trustee in 2018. Since 1990, he has competed in numerous professional billfish and International Light Tackle Tournament Association tournaments globally and became a Masters Invitational Tournament Angler in 1998. Zietsman pioneered Ghana, Africa’s Blue Marlin Fishing Charters which made global headlines with 950 blue marlin released with an average weight of 600 pounds over a five-year period with an average of two boats fishing a day. As a Trustee, in 2021 he was instrumental in the IGFA obtaining the prestigious United Nations Environment Programme accreditation. Zietsman is committed to the promotion of ethical sport fishing, and the conservation of marine and fisheries resources across the globe.

Deputy Council Chair and Development Committee Chair  – Chris Schorn, South Africa
Having been involved in deep sea fishing most of his life, Chris Schorn has been a member of the Plettenberg Bay Angling Association since 2000 and later served as Chairman for seven years. He was the association’s representative on the Southern Cape Deep Sea Angling Association (SCDSAA) Committee, and a regional member for the South African Deep Sea Angling Association (SADSAA), one of the most prominent recreational fishing organizations in the country. Chris also served as Chairman of SCDSAA for five years, and today he serves as President of SADSAA. Along with his interests in angling, Chris is also involved on a voluntary basis with the South African National Parks as an Honorary Ranger.

Conservation Committee Chair – Roy Bealey, Kenya
An avid angler and fisheries scientist, Roy Bealey was born in Kenya and grew up in Zimbabwe before attending Rhodes University in South Africa. As Conservation Committee Chair, he brings to the table extensive experience conducting fisheries research and informing the sustainable management of fisheries within developing country contexts. He currently serves as Fisheries Director of the International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF), promoting responsible tuna fisheries, linking them to global seafood markets, improving regional fisheries management and helping coastal state governments negotiate fair and sustainable outcomes. He plans to leverage his vast experience, global professional network and passion for sportfishing to amplify the mission of the IGFA and create a positive impact in East Africa and beyond.

Education Committee Chair – Brendan Davids, South Africa
A fishing fanatic since the tender age of two, Brendan Davids has fished five continents and loves all facets of angling from trout on dry fly to marlin on heavy tackle. His main passion is competitive angling, particularly light tackle billfishing. His best multiple to one was achieved on an estimated 70kg (154lb) striped marlin released on 6kg test. For relaxation he can be found enjoying Africa’s big five on the Zambezi River while catching the majestic tigerfish. Brendan is involved in coaching competitive deep-sea anglers with a focus on junior anglers. A staunch supporter and lifetime member of the IGFA, Davids has been an advocate and promoter of angling rules for decades and is passionate about implementing the IGFA’s principles of sportsmanship and conservation.

Rules and Recognition Committee Chair – Nick Nel, South Africa
An accomplished angler, Nick Nel’s fishing career over the years has been centered around tournaments. From 2014-2018, Nel served as the Vice President of the Natal Deep Sea Angling Association (NDSAA), a governing body of the sport in the KwaZulu Natal province of South Africa. Nick also served as the President of the NDSAA, a position from which he retired earlier this year. Having represented his country in three international tournaments (France, USA, and Portugal), he currently serves as the Local & International Tournaments Officer for the South African Deep Sea Angling Association (SADSAA). In this role, Nick assists in arranging local, national, and inter-provincial tournaments fished under IGFA rules, as well as identifying international tournaments for South African anglers to compete in. Nick’s accomplished angling career made him a recipient of South Africa’s Protea Colours (otherwise known as National Colours), the highest accolade that can be achieved by a member of a South African sporting body.


Rules & Recognition Committee
Brendan Davids – South Africa
Peet Koekemoer – South Africa
Neil Deacon – South Africa
Roy Bealey – Kenya

Education Committee
Nick Nel – South Africa
Neil Coetzer – South Africa
Jaco Visser – Namibia

Development Committee
Edwin Freeman – South Africa
Jaco Visser – Namibia
Erwin Bursik – South Africa

Conservation Committee
Neil Deacon – South Africa
Andrew Nightingale – Kenya
Malcolm Grant – South Africa
Edwin Freeman – South Africa

To learn more about IGFA Regional Councils, go to

About the International Game Fish Association
Established in 1939, the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) is a global nonprofit organization committed to the conservation of game fish and the promotion of responsible, ethical angling practices. With members in more than 100 countries, the IGFA is the world’s leading authority on sport fishing and maintains the global database of game fish world records and angling rules. Through education, research, advocacy, and angler recognition, the IGFA strives to ensure the future of fishing and sustainable fisheries around the world. To learn more or become a member, visit

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