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Caymanian Captain receives Tommy Gifford Award

Local News 02 Nov, 2022 Follow News

Captain Arthlee ‘Atlee’ Ebanks recieves the IGFA Tommy Gifford Award for Caribbean Offshore Pioneer

Minister Bryan and PS Bodden Celebrate with Captain Atlee and Mrs Akiko Evans ahead of the IGFA Banquet in Fort Lauderdale

Captain Atlee is the first Caymanian to join this prestigious group of honorees.


The Ministry and Department of Tourism are delighted to congratulate Captain Arthlee (Atlee) Evans, who received the prestigious Tommy Gifford Award from the International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) on Thursday 27 October.

The Gala Awards presentation was one of the highlights of 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 recognised by the IGFA in the category of ‘Caribbean Offshore Pioneer,’ said Minister Bryan. “This is an amazing accomplishment, and I am happy that there was a strong Caymanian contingent in Fort Lauderdale to support him.”

Adding to the congratulations, Dr. Guy Harvey, world renowned conservationist and wildlife marine artist noted that Atlee is the first person in the Cayman Islands to join this prestigious group of honorees, and he is also the first person from the English speaking Caribbean to do so. “So it’s a great, great honour,” emphasised Dr. Harvey.

Recipents 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.

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