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Commitment to Conservation

Crafting high-grade baits and tackle is a worthy endeavor only insomuch as the fish and their environs are flourishing. It’s a simple, self-evident idea that’s quietly inhabited the hearts and minds of the people behind Z-Man Fishing Products since day one. A commitment to conservation and fishery health, in fact, lies at the heart of Z-Man’s business philosophy. 

Tikkun Olam

The legacy of Z-Man founder Jerry Zucker, the concept of tikkun olam or “repairing the world” obliges Z-Man to give back in perpetuity, contributing to the betterment of our community, region and planet. This simple, powerful idea permeates every part of our operation, from philanthropy, education and community service to environmental support. For decades, Z-Man has backed a broad array of conservation and fisheries-management based initiatives. Even at Z-Man headquarters, evidence of our commitment to environmental sustainability manifests itself in our clean power generation and responsible raw material recycling. 

Sun-Powered Bait Making

To minimize our carbon footprint and move toward total energy efficiency, Z-Man’s Charleston, South Carolina homebase relies on the formidable power of the sun. As part of a larger sustainability program, Z-Man taps a broad solar-panel array, which self-generates a perpetual, clean power supply. 

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Recycling Manufacturing Waste

To minimize manufacturing waste, Z-Man implements a continuous two-tier program to recycle scrap plastic material generated through its injection molding operation—all with the endgame of keeping scrap material out of landfills.  To our knowledge, no other soft plastic lure manufacturers that are currently reusing and recycling all of its manufacturing waste.

ElaZtech is 100% non-toxic

A More Sustainable Soft Plastic

As advantageous as ElaZtech is to anglers—thanks to its extreme durability, softness, action, and buoyancy—its environmentally benign characteristics are perhaps even more significant.  The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has estimated that as many as 20 million pounds of soft plastic lures (SPLs) enter surface waters each year, and that 10 to 12 tons of them are lost or discarded.  The vast majority of these SPLs are made of PVC and contain chemicals called phthalates, which can be harmful to fish, aquatic ecosystems, and even humans.

Unlike traditional plastics, ElaZtech is 100% non-toxic and contains no PVC, plastisol, or phthalates

 Due to their strength and tear-resistance, ElaZtech baits cannot be easily pulled off hooks and swallowed by fish and because of their increased lifespan are far less likely to wear out and be discarded into the water.  What’s more, ElaZtech baits float to the surface where they can be easily collected if they inadvertently end up in the water, rather than littering the bottom where they can easily be ingested by fish and other subaquatic species. If an ElaZtech lure is eaten by a fish, it will not swell up, enlarge, and leach harmful chemicals like standard softbaits may, making them easier for fish to pass and less likely to cause life-threatening harm to fish.  In fact, several private lakes have restricted soft plastic use only to ElaZtech baits to protect fish stocks!

Z-Man Backs Essential Marine Research

Highlighting its pledge to protect precious natural resources, Z-Man supports future fishery biologists and fisheries research. The leading-edge tackle company provides paid research assistantships for graduate students at University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) Nature Coast Biological Station in Cedar Key, Florida. 

These Z-Man endowed IFAS graduate assistantships are directed towards research that is aimed at improving Florida’s fisheries for recreational anglers.  For instance, two graduate students have recently been studying snook populations and how rising water temperatures and other factors are impacting expanding snook populations along Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts, with an eye towards learning how to improve these fisheries for anglers.

Conserving the Aquatic Ecosystem

Part of Z-Man’s mission has always been to further causes that preserve healthy ecosystems and enhance fishing opportunities. Today, Z-Man’s support of such initiatives includes backing action-oriented groups like Captains for Clean Water and Release Over 20, for instance. To bridge the gap between the tackle industry and fishery management, Z-Man has played a leading role in the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s ‘Partner with a Payer’ program, uniting leaders from state and federal fisheries management, tackle manufacturers, and the American Sportfishing Association.  Get a sneak peek inside Z-Man’s plant and warehouse and learn how each purchase of a lure produced here helps fund vital fisheries research and access to our waterways by watching this video.

Fishing at sunset (conservation)

Respect the Speck

Spearheaded by Z-Man, RedFin Charters, and Eye Strike Fishing, the Community and Professional Response (CPR) initiative formed after a hard freeze along South Carolina’s coast in 2018 that resulted in massive fish kills and adopted the goal of restoring local stocks of South Carolina seatrout. Funds raised through this initiative were directed towards the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, which in turn purchased massive aquaculture tanks used for rearing seatrout fingerlings that were stocked into local waters to reignite recreational fisheries.