Olivier Portrat

Olivier Portrat became EFTTA CEO in 2019. Olivier decided to make his living around the recreational fishing – his big passion! Over the last 30 years, he has been travelling extensively, fishing in Europe and worldwide. He is a prolific writer combined with a talented film director and producer. Olivier is eager to communicate what he loves about angling in a creative fashion. Anyone involved in the angling industry has heard about his portfolio of books and magazines’ cover shots on recreational fishing. As the head of the EFTTA association Olivier will work alongside our EFTTA Lobbyist in Brussels to represent the interests of our members.

info(at) (emails will be forwarded)

Jan Kappel
Public Affairs Officer

Since 2001, Jan runs the EFTTA lobby office, shared with EAA, located next to the European Parliament in Brussels. Before that, he worked in the European Parliament as an assistant for two Danish Members of Parliament. He has extensive knowledge about European legislation and legislative procedures of importance for EFTTA's lobbying and the recreational angling and sport fishing community at large. Jan coordinates lobbying issues with EFTTA CEO Olivier Portrat. More about Jan: AI Interview June 2023


Margit Bogler
Office Management & Marketing

With extensive experience in office management, marketing services and event organization, Margit is excellently positioned to support EFTTA on a day to day basis, working closely with the CEO and EFTTA Board on strategy and policy. She is in charge of all aspects of membership and communications for EFTTA. She liaises with the Media and answers any queries that any member or potential member may have. If you have any questions regarding payments for EFTTA, do not hesitate to email her!



EFTTA President
Mr. Jan Mertens
Pure Fishing Netherlands B.V. 

Without a single doubt, EFTTA is for Pure Fishing an important organization, as it looks out for our interests as a sportfishing industry and the entire recreational fishing community towards European governments and politicians. EFTTA is our ears, eyes and voice within the European institutions in Brussels. The promotion of recreational angling and putting the sport in a good light towards the general public is very important, making aware that anglers are respecting nature, promoting clear waters and are a big advocate of restoring fish populations. I am honoured to be elected EFTTA President by my fellow board members. We are a small but very active team. Much is happening in the environmental field and important decisions are about to be taken at EU level. This is our chance to stay on track and develop joint solutions with the aim of ensuring a healthy and sustainable future for recreational angling in Europe. The more support we have from the industry, the more we can succeed!

EFTTA Vice-President
Mr. Ross Honey
Angling Spirit LTD 

As the organiser of best practice catch and release angling events that promote respect for the environment and safety on or by the water I am convinced of the need for EFTTA’s important lobbying role in Europe. I’ll support EFTTA and help structure a centralized platform to ensure there is clear communication explaining how countries and the companies operating in them are affected by developments and decisions at EU level. There are so many great things going on across the European tackle industry but there hasn’t been one consolidated structure to bring it all together. As an industry, we need to be proactive and not reactive if we want to preserve recreational fishing for the future.

Mr. Gerard Bakkenes
Shimano Europe B.V. 

I can't image not to fish, to enjoy the serenity being at the bank or in a boat. The sense of being alone and empty the brain from daily issues. I'm therefore a strong believer, both as an individual but also as member of Team Shimano, that promoting and advocacy for angling as a pastime is an absolute must to ensure the future. EFTTA & the EEA are essential players in this and it is therefore crucial to support them in their quest. 

Mr. Ciro Esposito
Europesca Sport 

I have been part of the fishing tackle industry since I was born. Europesca was founded in 1898 by my great-grandfather and taken over by my grandmother and then by my father. Since many decades, I am member of the Board of EFTTA, as I am firmly convinced that a strong European industry association is necessary in today’s world. The EU Directives are increasingly affecting the future of recreational angling; therefore it is essential to have a body in Bruxelles that acts on behalf of the industry.

Mr. Rudi Heger
Traun River Products 

By managing over 20 miles of private fisheries in prestine rivers, Rudi has been involved for several decades in recreational fishing. 

Mr. Tobias Hilfer
Daiwa Germany GmbH 

Looking at the future challenges in environmental protection and stricter EU legislation to come through, being very likely to effect recreational fishing and the tackle industry as well, it´s obvious that a strong body is needed to protect and follow up the interests of of all fisherman and for the tackle industry in Europe. The EFTTA in my opinon is the only way to give a clear and strong comprehensive voice for our interests to the EU parliaments and to balance and protect the apparent needs of improved and sustainable participation in our resources. So I´m delighted having the possiblity to be part of EFTTA to support and protect recreational fishing and the industry in Europe for our future.

Mr. Jari Kokkonen
Rapala VMC Corporation 

Rapala’s goal is to help anglers around the world enjoy the sport to the fullest. Since there’s no angling without clear waters, Rapala has very clear environmental values and an ambitious sustainability strategy, built around their products and production. Through the EcoChoice Program, Rapala centralizes their social and enrvironmental efforts, supporting groups and projects to share the passion for angling in a responsible way. Through EFTTA the angling industry can collaborate with the EU politics to find solutions towards a sustainable angling future.

Mr. Bernard Levêque
Sensas SAS 

Since most of our staff are anglers themselves, Sensas is perfectly aware of the challenges recreational angling is facing. In addition to the commercial aspect, Sensas has been supporting anglers since 60 years, and is committed to promoting recreational and competitive angling. For many years, Sensas lobbies for recreational angling on national level with the GIFAP (French fishing tackle trade association), but also at European level with the EFTTA, as many national decisions begin with the EU in Brussels. By acting upstream on a European scale, we can best protect and promote recreational angling and the fishing tackle industry. Through EFTTA we no longer suffer as passive spectators, but become actors of our future!

Mr. István Pál
Energofish Ltd. 

Participating in more than 10 EFTTA General Assemblies since the 1990s helped me to understand some basic points about the importance of legislation in the tackle industry. Nevertheless, when I became an EFTTA board member in 2019 I realized that my knowledge is only superficial, that there is much to learn. We definitely need EFTTA as organization to give us a strong voice. When industry and anglers are united, we can and must be heard more by legislators. As a representative of small businesses, I am personally committed to increasing the importance of SMEs, in general European manufacturers, in the tackle industry.

Mr. Paul Reeves
Rather Outdoors LLC 
Mrs. Katrin Sänger 

Being a board member of EFTTA gives me the opportunity to support all interests of recreational angling. Together we have got the chance to build up a stronger lobby in Brussels and get more power to defend the discussed restrictions in the european parliament. Together we can create a better visibility and a strong unit to explain and realize projects, especially for protecting the natural environment and the sustainability of fishing. We must stick together and setup a strong fishing community!

Mr. Gennady Zharkov
Lotta Olt 

Gennady Zharkov has been involved in recreational angling and the angling industry his entire life, gaining experience that later influenced his wholesale angling gear and publishing businesses. He believes in the importance of recreational angling for human society and being the only way to protect the fish and its habitats. He considers that the voice of anglers and the recreational angling industry should be heard and acknowledged in Europe. This is only possible if as many industry players as possible are brought together in an association like EFTTA, who acts as a mouthpiece and representation of interests towards the European Institutions. Gennady is a long-time member of EFTTA. 

Mr. Willem Bontrup

For several years, I have followed the important work that EFTTA has been doing, and with the recent changes, I feel it is the right time for Visdeal to become an active member. The tackle trade industry and recreational angling need all the support they can get, as there are many threats from all sides. I encourage all retailers and brands to join and ensure a bright future for the sport and business. It is a great honour to be the first fishing tackle e-commerce company to become a member of the EFTTA board, and I look forward to contributing with the years of experience that I have in the trade.

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