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Advancement of Billfish Conservation Act – A Partial Step Forward

 

On May 18, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation advanced Section 396, an amendment to the 2012 Billfish Conservation Act. The bill, initially introduced in February by U.S. Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), was passed favorably without amendment during an executive session.

Section 396 adds that billfish caught in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands are not to be sold or transported to the U.S. mainland.

The Billfish Foundation applauds continuing efforts made by the Senate to eliminate the sale of Pacific billfish to the continental United States.  However, concerns still exist whether fish caught in Hawaii can continue be sold to other nations, as this would significantly diminish the bill’s impact on billfish conservation.

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Japan Signs Port State Measures Agreement In Fight Against IUU Fishing

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced Monday that Japan has joined 57 other States in signing on to the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA).

Entered into force in June of last year, the Agreement is an international effort aimed at eliminating illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, which is responsible for billions in lost revenue each year. The oceans are vast and difficult to police, and the profit for seafood products can be significant, contributing to the appeal of IUU fishing. This often negates the effects of sustainable management and pilfers the opportunity for local communities to benefit from their resources.

The PSMA aims to shut down such activity by preventing those engaged in IUU fishing from bringing their catch to market. Through the Agreement, documentation is required to confirm the species and legality of the catch that a vessel has onboard and brings to port. If the documents do not add up, the State to which the port belongs (USA for Port of Miami) may refuse the catch. Of course, this is only effective if all nations sign on, or a vessel may simply relocate to another, less stringent, port.

Japan is an important State in the global seafood industry, as seafood is culturally important to the Japanese and contributes to a large portion of their diet. The nation produces on average 4.1 million tons of wild-caught seafood each year, but due to the high rates of consumption, they must also import. Japan is the world’s third largest importer of fish and fishery products, after the European Union and the United States. By being a part of the PSMA, Japan is agreeing to deny IUU fishing, as it pertains to its own vessels as well as imports from other nations.

In regards to billfish, these species are often caught as bycatch in commercial fishing operations – those fish that are not targeted but get caught anyways, often thrown back to the sea dead. This is where unreported fishing can be a problem: billfish are not accounted for in the final reported catch but the populations are indeed being affected. Similarly, unregulated fishing can create a situation of limitless bycatch, putting those non-target species in danger. Illegal fishing can take several forms, including a vessel operating in a closed area, again threatening the species intended to be protected, such as billfish and the corresponding closures in the Gulf of Mexico.

As more nations sign on to the PSMA, it will be harder for IUU fishing to find access to the market, thereby making it unprofitable to engage in. The Billfish Foundation applauds Japan for acceding the PSMA and recognizes the importance for all nations to support an end to illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing.

The United States ratified the Agreement in February 2016. Other recent additions include Albania, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritania, Montenegro, and Senegal, all of whom acceded the PSMA this year.

The post Japan Signs Port State Measures Agreement In Fight Against IUU Fishing appeared first on The Billfish Foundation.

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Closure Attempts in Prime Panamanian Sportfishing Areas

The Fishery Commission in Panama is striving to close waters around Montuosa Island and the Hannibal Bank to recreational fishing even though those areas include some of the most productive sportfishing in Panama. Local sources informed TBF staff that the movement appears to be targeting the actions of the former President, who supported recreational fishing, especially the sportfishing eco-tourism trade. Both local members of the recreational fishing community and captains from other nations living and charter fishing in Panama are working to persuade the Commission to modify its plans.

TBF’s socio-economic study in Panama documented that in 2011 (most recent data) that 86,250 visitors fished in Panama, who with the rest of their traveling companions spent $97 million on charter boats, fuel, food lodging and related expenses. The study also noted that the number of anglers visiting the nation had doubled since 2001 and so long as fishing remains great and anglers are informed the number should continue to increase.  The study also recorded that $170.4 million in total retail and business-to-business sales, 9,503 Panamanian jobs and increases in Gross Domestic Product of US $48.4 million were all related to sportfishing.

To learn more look at the links below or here.

 

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TBF Adding Two New Lifetime Achievement Awards

Two new lifetime achievement awards have been added to TBF’s annual recognition of excellence in advancing billfish conservation. The first new award is the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Individual Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of the late Winthrop Rockefeller, the founder of TBF. This award will recognize individuals, who have made a positive impact on the knowledge and character of sportfishing, boating, educational opportunities and youth fishing.

 

The second new award is the Paxson H. Offield Lifetime Billfish Science Award in honor of the late Paxson Offield, who was an exemplary supporter of billfish research. The award will recognize outstanding scientists, who have advanced billfish and other highly migratory fish science. TBF’s existing Rybovich Lifetime Service Award honors those who have worked diligently in support of billfish conservation and responsible fishing while serving as a member of organizations, or from platforms (fishing, advisory, media) or businesses in the sportfishing and boating world.

All of these awards will be presented to individuals during our annual fundraiser in Fort Lauderdale during the Fort Lauderdale Boat show in November.

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Call to Action on Forage Fish!

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has begun a Scoping Process to consider allowing giant trawlers to increase their excessive landings of forage species off the Mid-Atlantic region, specifically chub (Tinker) mackerel.   Knowing how important that species and the other forage fish are to support the recreational billfish and tuna fisheries NOW is the time to email your comments to the Council to Chris Moore.

For your convenience, we have created a draft letter for your reference to write your own letter or to email here. Attached is our official comments as well for your review.

If you can, please attend and voice your concerns at one of the scoping meetings:

  1. Monday, May 15, 2017, 6:00-7:30 pm.Virginia Marine Resources Commission 4th Floor Meeting Room. 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News, VA, 23607. Telephone: 757-247-2200.
  2. Tuesday May 16, 2017, 6:30-8:00 pm.Princess Royale Oceanfront Resort & Conference Center. 9100 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, MD, 21842. Telephone: 410-524-7777.
  3. Tuesday May 23, 2017, 6:30-8:00 pmCongress Hall Hotel. 200 Congress Place, Cape May, NJ, 08204. Telephone: 888-944-1816.
  4. Wednesday May 24, 2017, 6:30-8:00 pm.University of Rhode Island Bay Campus, Corless Auditorium. 215 South Ferry Road, Narragansett, RI, 02882. Telephone: 401-874-6222.
  5. Wednesday May 25, 2017, 6:00-7:30 pmWebinar. Audio and visual access available at http://mafmc.adobeconnect.com/chubscoping/. The webinar can also be accessed via phone by calling 1-800-832-0736, room #5068871.

 

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Bluefin Tuna Angling Category Adjustment

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has adjusted the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) daily retention limits that apply to vessels permitted in the Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Angling category and the HMS Charter/Headboat category (when fishing recreationally for BFT) effective April 30, 2017, through December 31, 2017, as follows:

In deciding these retention limits, NMFS considered the regulatory determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments, which include available quota, fishery performance in recent years, availability of BFT on the fishing grounds, and the effects of the adjustment on the stock and on accomplishing the objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and amendments. These limits should provide opportunities to harvest the available U.S. BFT quota without exceeding it; prevent overharvest of the 2017 quotas; and collect a broad range of data for stock monitoring purposes.

Who is affected?

These daily retention limits apply to vessels permitted in the recreational HMS Angling category and the HMS Charter/Headboat category while fishing recreationally. The daily retention limits are effective for all areas except for the Gulf of Mexico, which is designated as BFT spawning grounds and where NMFS does not allow targeted fishing for BFT. Regardless of the duration of a fishing trip (e.g., whether a vessel takes a two-day trip or makes two trips in one day), no more than a single day’s retention limit may be possessed, retained, or landed.

NMFS will continue to monitor the BFT fisheries closely. HMS Charter/ Headboat and Angling category vessel owners are required to report the catch of all BFT retained or discarded dead, within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip, by accessing hmspermits.noaa.gov or by using the Android or iPhone app.  Depending on fishing effort and catch rates, additional retention limit adjustments or fishery closures may be necessary to ensure available quota is not exceeded or to enhance scientific data collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas.

 NMFS regulations at 50 CFR 635.21(a)(1) require that all BFT that are released be handled in a manner that will maximize survivability, and without removing the fish from the water. For additional information on safe handling, see the “Careful Catch and Release” brochure available at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/.

This notice is a courtesy to BFT fishery permit holders to help keep you informed about the fishery.  For more information on BFT fishing regulations, including recreational size and retention limits, please go to hmspermits.noaa.gov or call (978) 281-9260.  Official notice of Federal fishery actions is made through filing such notice with the Office of the Federal Register.

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ATLANTIC BLUEFIN TUNA TROPHY ANGLING CATEGORY SOUTH AREA Closing March 20, 2017

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will close the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) Angling category fishery for large medium and giant “trophy” BFT (measuring 73” or greater) in the southern area effective 11:30 p.m. local time, Monday, March 20, 2017, through December 31, 2017.  The southern area is the area south of 39°18’N (off Great Egg Inlet, NJ), outside the Gulf of Mexico.

Bluefin Tuna angling regions. South area (closed as of 3/20/17 to 12/31/17) highlighted in green.

Based on reported landings from the NMFS Automated Catch Reporting System and the North Carolina Tagging Program, NMFS projects that the codified Angling category southern area trophy BFT subquota will be reached by March 20, 2017, and have determined that the trophy fishery should be closed in that area.  Retaining, possessing, or landing large medium or giant BFT south of 39°18’ N. lat. and outside the Gulf of Mexico by persons aboard vessels permitted in the HMS Angling category and the HMS Charter/Headboat category (when fishing recreationally) must cease at 11:30 p.m. local time on March 20, 2017.  The intent of this closure is to prevent overharvest of the Angling category southern area trophy BFT subquota.  The annual Angling category trophy limit of one large medium or giant BFT per vessel remains in effect for vessels fishing in the northern area and in the Gulf of Mexico area.  The Angling category fishery for BFT measuring 27 to less than 73” is open except in the Gulf of Mexico.  Catch-and-release fishing is permissible as described below.

REMINDER: Federal Regulations at 50 CFR 635.21(a)(1): Atlantic highly migratory species… that is not retained must be released in a manner that will ensure maximum probability of survival, but without removing the fi­sh from the water.

Who is affected?

This closure applies to vessels permitted in the HMS Angling category and the HMS Charter/Headboat category fishing in the southern area (defined in bold above).  Fishermen may catch and release or tag and release BFT of all sizes, subject to the requirements of HMS catch-and-release and tag-and-release programs.  NMFS regulations require that all BFT that are released be handled in a manner that will maximize their survival, and without removing the fish from the water.

For additional information on safe handling, see the “Careful Catch and Release” brochure available at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/HMS Charter/Headboat and Angling category vessel owners are required to report the catch of all BFT retained or discarded dead, within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip, by accessing hmspermits.noaa.gov or by using the Android or iPhone app.

This notice is a courtesy to BFT fishery permit holders to help keep you informed about the fishery. For more information on BFT fishing regulations, including recreational size and retention limits, please go to hmspermits.noaa.gov or call (978) 281-9260.  Official notice of Federal fishery actions is made through filing such notice with the Office of the Federal Register.

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TBF’s 2017 Artist of the Year – Dennis Friel

TBF proudly announces the selection of South Florida native Dennis Friel as its 2017 Artist of the Year.

“Combustion” by Dennis Friel

Dennis fondly recalls “as a kid growing up in South Florida fishing, surfing
and diving the waters from Palm Beach to the Keys, I always drew fish and the sea. To build those childhood experiences into a career has made me feel very fortunate.” As an avid tournament angler, Dennis’ ability to visually portray the saltwater lifestyle is unique. He also draws from his south Florida roots to discover new points of inspiration. Fusing both traditional and non-traditional methods into his paintings, illustrations and designs gives him the flexibility to render his concepts in a variety of mediums and methods. All of this comes together in his stunning painting “Combustion”
featured on this issue’s cover.

Dennis honed his craft by combining over 20 years of experience as both a Creative Director and a professional artist, which allowed him to complete work for some of the world’s leading sportfishing boats and marine businesses. He runs a fine art, illustration and design studio developed to create impactful imagery for the marine industry. Specializing in painting marine life and creating fine art prints and apparel, his goal is to keep pushing to set new standards in this field. Dennis’ growing reputation has led to his selection as the official artist for major fishing tournaments, including Jimmy Johnson’s 2013 National Billfish Tournament, the 2015 Custom Shootout and 2015 Ladies Annual Fish Off. His work also appears in industry publications, Florida Sport Fishing, Marlin World and Professional Yacht Broker.

Dennis with Coach Jimmy Johnson

A loving husband and father of two children, Dennis believes in conserving resources for future generations and holds close to his heart his commitment to support and conserve natural resources and fisheries.

TBF members who join or renew at $250 or more will receive a signed and numbered print of Friel’s “Combustion.”

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AMENDMENT 5b – Dusky Shark Protections – UPDATE

NMFS released the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Amendment 5b to the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan in mid- February, 2017.  A new Preferred Alternative (A6d) “requires the use of non-stainless steel circle hooks by all HMS permit holders with a shark endorsement when fishing for sharks recreationally south of 41 degrees 43’ latitude, except when fishing with flies or artificial lures.”

In other words, if fishing for sharks with flies or artificial lures, circle hooks are not required.  But if you are fishing for sharks you must obtain a Shark Endorsement.

If you do not want to use circle hooks all the time and you are NOT targeting sharks, DO NOT check the Shark Endorsement box when renewing your annual HMS Angling Vessel Permit or HMS Charter/Headboat Permit.  If you land sharks, you are assumed to be targeting sharks and need the Shark Endorsement and are required to use circle hooks unless fishing with flies or artificial lures.

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DEBATE on BILLFISH CONSERVATION ACT

The 2012 Billfish Conservation Act (BCA) has yet to be implemented and again is under Congressional review to attempt to resolve debated language so no Pacific billfish can be imported into the continental U.S.  The BCA  language in question follows.

Sec. 2 – Findings

Congress finds the following:

Subsection (3) – “Ending the importation of foreign-caught billfish for sale in the United States  aligns with U.S. management measures of billfish and protects significant economic benefits to the U.S. economy of recreational fishing and marine commerce and the traditional cultural fisheries.”

Was the legislative intent in (3) to stop importation and sale of only foreign-caught billfish?

If prohibiting the sale of foreign-caught billfish aligns with protecting significant economic benefits to the traditional cultural fisheries, does that imply the US fishing vessels (non-foreign) are the traditional cultural fisheries in Hawaii and in the Pacific Insular Areas (PIA) that the Act was to protect, along with the other 2 U.S. interests listed?

 

Sec. 4. Prohibition on sale of billfish

(a) Prohibitions

“No person shall offer for sale, sell, or have custody, control, or possession of for purposes of offering for sale or selling billfish or products containing billfish.”

(c) Exemptions for traditional fisheries and markets

“The prohibition in subsection (a) does not apply to billfish caught by U.S. fishing vessels and landed in the State of Hawaii or PIA.”

Does exempting billfish caught by U.S. fishing vessels and landed in Hawaii or PIA establish them as the referred to “traditional fisheries and markets”?

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UPDATE on LONGLINES in FLORIDA’s EAST COAST CLOSED ZONE

The NMFS has extended the deadline to March 29, 2017 for accepting public comments on the application for an Exempted Fishing Permit.  If approved, six pelagic longline vessels will fish for three years in Florida’s East Coast Closed Zone. Email your comments to nmfs.hms.pllefp@noaa.gov.  

A webinar on the subject is scheduled for March 27, 2017 between 1 – 4 pm (EST) to facilitate public comments from across the U.S. commercial Atlantic Pelagic Longline fishery.  Join the webinar here.

TBF’s submitted comments are posted here with a draft letter you may draw from to write your comments.  Help TBF fight this direct threat by submitting your letter and joining TBF.

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The Caribbean Billfish Project – good fisheries management?

 Sportfishing Might Be Charged to Help Alleviate Poverty in the Caribbean… should that fall within reasonable fisheries management?

The Caribbean Billfish Project,  a $1.95 million exercise supported by the UN and the World Bank, and executed by the Western Central Atlantic Fisheries Commission (WECAFC) in Barbados, proposes a ” rights-based” billfish management strategy for commercial, recreational and coastal fishers.

“Rights-based” strategies limit fishing access and allocations through a variety of tools, including licenses, marine reserves, fishery-wide quotas based on catches not landings, stakeholder group administration, cooperatives and payment of fees (rents), etc. One published paper from the Project  provides “enough value exists in the recreational fisheries sector to compensate losses in the commercial fisheries sector.” This transfer of financial resources would require recreational fishing boats to pay “rents” to compensate commercial fishers for loss of billfish caught by anglers, not just for landed fish.

Greater benefits could flow to local fishers and billfish if Caribbean nations stopped authorizing foreign fleets to fish in their waters and stopped re-flagging other fleets, as fees are collected in both situations.  If recreational fishing vessels pay “rents” and foreign commercial fleets pay fees, some nations would collect twice.  Distant water fleets threaten Caribbean food security and its sportfishing eco-tourism trade by overfishing billfish and other species.  Locals cannot compete.

A second Project study  “….recognizes that it is a challenge to apply “rights-based” approaches in the developing world……the answer is to secure rights to the fishery to end the race to fish and to put proper incentives in place to increase wealth and sustainability.” A goal consistent with FAO’s goals to (1) eradicate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition; (2) eliminate poverty and advance social and economic progress, and (3) manage and use natural resources sustainably.  All honorable goals, but they should remain beyond the scope of fishery management. If environmental organizations prevail, “rights-based” management will become mainstream.

“Rights-based” billfish strategies raise questions and uncertainties for Caribbean marinas/resorts, charter operations and tournaments. How could businesses factor in a fee for each billfish caught, not landed?  If a fishery-wide quota were met before a scheduled tournament or booked charters, how could businesses meet obligations?  If the U.S. embraced the “right-based” strategy for waters around Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, would Atlantic billfish management begin to unravel?

Highly migratory marlin cannot be managed as “straddling stocks,” as described in the Caribbean Project.   Atlantic billfish fall within the jurisdiction of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, a well-established international organization with billfish history for improving management and science, well beyond the Caribbean.

A priority should be to avoid another layer of international billfish management by not placing any responsibility with FAO’s WECAFC in the Caribbean.   The $1.9 million would have likely been more beneficial had it been directed toward specific problems faced by local fishers.

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CALL TO ACTION!

No Longlines in Closed Zone…destroying a conservation success makes no sense.

Recently, the NMFS received an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) application from Dr. David Kerstetter, Nova Southeastern University, to authorize a research project using 6 longline boats within Florida’s East Coast Longline Closed Zone. The project proposes to evaluate the effectiveness of the 16 year closure by comparing fishing results in the closed waters to results in open waters. Fish caught during the research period would be sold to offset expenses.

The zone was closed in 2001 to protect juvenile swordfish primarily and other species taken as bycatch in longline gear, including billfish, sea turtles and overfished shark species.  Buoy gear, which takes no bycatch, replaced longlines in the then newly closed waters and proved to be compatible with recreational fishing and sustaining marine resources. The gear fishes sustainably, contrary to longline gear, as stated clearly in a CNN story featuring Dr. Kerstetter and the owner of the longline boats listed in the research proposal. (See a video here.)  A curious reversal it seems by Dr. Kerstetter and the longline vessel owner. Since the zone was closed, swordfish recovered and catches of sailfish, yellowfin tuna, marlin and other species increased, generating stronger economic returns to Florida’s east coast businesses and healthier marine resources. The closed zone is a conservation success, so why risk destroying it by allowing longline gear to return?

The U.S. commercial longline swordfish fishery continues to fail in landing their quota, which might be part of the motivation to return to the zone, hoping from its waters, the quota, could be filled. Many speculate the opposite; pointing out larger longline vessels are needed to increase landings by fishing in distant waters. In 2016, with all US gear types fishing for swordfish combined, only 36.7% of the quota was landed, but that landed by buoy gear provided a fresher product.

Gambling away the conservation and economic successes generated within the closed zone makes no sense. This EFP should not be approved.

The NMFS accepts public comments on whether to grant the permit through February 16, 2017 at nmfs.hms.pllefp@noaa.gov.  See our statement in the gallery below and download a template with draft comments by clicking on the links listed.

EFP_TBF_Comment

EFP_Angler Letter

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TBF’s Tagging Program Heralded

A recently released analysis of the NMFS Cooperative Tagging Program between January 2006 and December 2015 by Caitlyn Savoia, a graduate student at the University of Miami, documented that during those years the Program received the lowest number of tagged and recaptured reports, which collect valuable scientific data.”  The author lauded the work of TBF’s implementation of its self-entry on-line database for tagged, released and recaptured billfish as well as the outreach done to further engage the sportfishing community.

She applauds TBF’s Tag & Release system for including interactive features that improve efficiency, transparency while making the entry, retrieving and viewing of one’s data easy.  Other features of TBF’s self-entry tagging data site heralded by the researcher include: interactive map with a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) interface, the ability to upload anglers’ videos and photos, ability to analyze data, interface with Buoyweather and integrated with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, all of this Savoia acknowledges promotes data collection and participation through innovation and technology. In turn, TBF applauds the work of all our constituents who continue to report and support the program as well as to TBF staff member, Peter Chaibongsai, who is responsible for the program for his tenacity in getting the site activated and to all anglers, captains and mates who use the self-entry site.

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TBF Welcomes 20Echo as a Tag & Release Program Sponsor!

TBF Welcomes 20echo as a Tag & Release Program Sponsor!

The Billfish Foundation (TBF) proudly announces that 20echo is its newest Tag and Release Program sponsor, joining  Casa Vieja Lodge, Costa Sunglasses, Garmin, King Sailfish MountsPelagic Gear, and Yeti in support of the scientific data collecting program. Begun in 1990, the Program has produced the world’s largest private billfish tagging data resource, which is the organization’s cornerstone science project that shares angler-generated data with scientists to improve billfish science.

An early example of what users will be able to see via 20echo.

TBF’s partnership with 20echo.com will bolster data collect for years to come by giving anglers a fast, on board means to capture weather, oceanic and fish data at the exact spot of a billfish tag, release or recapture, simply by taking a photo. “The data then will be shared with TBF,” said Daniel Miers, 20echo’s founder and developer of the revolutionary new tool, who added  “20echo.com was built with conservation in mind.” Gerard Ramos, CEO of Revelry Labs, the software developing firm, said, “It’s really that simple, take or upload your billfish photo, enter  the tag number if the fish was tagged, in 20echo.com and the angler immediately has the ability to positively impact TBF’s data collection for science and conservation. I’m extremely proud of our team and the technology we’ve created to assist TBF.”

Peter Chaibongsai, TBF’s Director of Science and Policy, said, “We are excited about 20echo’s partnership to assist in billfish data collection that will support conservation via their innovative and interactive tool. No doubt anglers and captains will enjoy using the 20echo services.”

TBF welcomes 20Echo and invites other companies to become a TBF Tag and Release Program sponsor and show your business’s support of billfish conservation! Learn more about TBF’s Tag and Release program by contacting us at 954-938-01050 or by email.

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2016 Tag & Release Competition Winners

The Billfish Foundation’s (TBF) Tag and Release Award winners, the “who’s who” in the billfishing world will be honored during the International Tag and Release Awards Ceremony at Miami’s Jungle Island on February 17, 2017. Earning one of the prestigious awards, produced and donated by King Sailfish Mounts, symbolizes a year of hard work, great fishing and/or boat and fish handling skills plus a commitment to a future with billfishing. Leaders in the sportfishing industry sponsor the Tag and Release Program and Ceremony and include Costa Sunglasses, PELAGIC Gear, Casa Vieja Lodge, Garmin Inc., YETI Coolers, Marina Casa de Campo, International Game Fish Tournament Observers Inc., Makaira Adventures, Sailfish Brewing Company, and 20echo.

 

Youth Division

TOP TAGGING

Ages 8 & Under
Darren Philipps – Guatemala City, Guatemala
Runner-Up: Charles Gaddy – Manteo, NC USA

Ages 11-12
Hefner Appling – Port Aransas, TX USA
Runner-Up: Aidan Burke – Los Angeles, CA USA

Ages 13-15
Kaleb Richardson – Lafayette, LA USA
Runner-Up: Jamyn Kirkland – Englewood, FL USA

Ages 16-17
Toby Mason – Dampier, WA Australia
Runner-Up: Nuno Abohbot Jr. – Luanda, Angola

 

TOP RELEASE

Ages 8 & Under
Darren Philipps – Guatemala City, Guatemala
Runner-Up: Brown Gaddy – Manteo, NC USA

Ages 9-10
Elise Standing – Virginia Beach, VA USA

Ages 11-12
Ian Perez – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Runner-Up: Cameron Johnson – Davie, FL USA

Ages 13-15
Caetlin O’Brien – Duxbury, MA USA
Runner-Up: Ethan Standing – Virginia Beach, VA

Ages 16-17
Toby Mason – Dampier, WA Australia
Runner-Up: Rory Brown – Mount Pleasant, SC USA

 

Gulf of Mexico Marlin Tagging Competition

Top Overall Tagging Angler – Richardson – Lafayette, LA USA
Top Overall Tagging Captain – Myles Colley – Pensacola, FL USA
Top Tagging Angler – Blue Marlin – Dana Foster – Pensacola, FL USA
Top Tagging Angler – White Marlin – Kaleb Richardson – Lafayette, LA USA
Top Tagging Captain – Blue Marlin – Myles Colley – Pensacola, FL USA
Top Tagging Captain – White Marlin – Chris Mowad – Pensacola, FL USA
Top Tagging Junior Angler – Kaleb Richardson – Lafayette, LA USA
Top Tagging Lady Angler – Lisa Foster – Pensacola, FL USA
Top Tagging Boat – Born2Run – Pensacola, FL USA

 

South Florida Sailfish Circuit

Top Release Angler – Jacob Lepera – Boynton Beach, FL USA
Top Release Captain, Private – Doug Covin – Miami, FL USA
Top Release Captain, Charter – Dean Panos – Pembroke Pines, FL USA
Top Release Junior Angler – Shawn MacMullin – Key Largo FL USA
Top Release Lady Angler – CeCe Imbrie – Naples, FL USA
Top Tagging Angler – Shawn MacMullin – Key Largo FL USA
Top Tagging Captain Private – Doug Covin – Miami, FL USA
Top Tagging Captain Charter – Bouncer Smith – Miami, FL USA
Top Tagging Junior Angler – Shawn MacMullin – Key Largo FL USA
Top Tagging Lady Angler – Dawn Samuels – Palm Beach Gardens, FL USA

 

Cape Verde Regional Tag & Release Competition 

Top Tagging Angler – Paul Gerlach – Hobe Sound, FL USA
Top Tagging Captain, Private – Bertrand Bouchard – Port Gentil, Gabon
Top Tagging Captain, Charter – Martin Bates – Auckland New Zealand
Top Release Angler – Arthur Choate – Miami, FL USA
Top Release Captain, Private – Randy Hodgekiss – Orange Beach, AL USA
Top Release Captain, Charter – Zak Conde – San Vicente, Cape Verde
Top Release Junior Angler – Cameron Johnson – Davie, FL USA
Top Release Lady Angler – Amanda Cofer – Carolina Beach, NC USA

 

Hawaii Regional Tag & Release Competition 

Top Tagging Angler – Jada Holt – Kailua-Kona, HI USA
Top Tagging Captain – Gene Vander Hoek – Kailua-Kona, HI USA
Top Tagging Lady Angler – Jada Holt – Kailua-Kona, HI USA
Top Release Angler – Paul Dolinoy – Huntington Beach, CA USA
Top Release Captain – Chris Choy – Kailua-Kona, HI USA

 

Top Tagging Anglers – Atlantic Ocean
Blue Marlin – Kaleb Richardson – Lafayette, LA USA
Sailfish – Marco Couto – Luanda, Angola
Swordfish – Richard Gudoian – Key Largo, FL USA
White Marlin – Laurent Sahyoun – Mandelieu, France

 

Top Tagging Anglers – Indian Ocean
Black Marlin – Scott MacGowan – Baynton, Australia
Blue Marlin – Scott MacGowan – Baynton, Australia
Sailfish – Henry Riggs-Miller – Victoria, Seychelles

 

Top Tagging Anglers – Pacific Ocean
Black Marlin – Stephan Kreupl – Oberursel, Germany
Blue Marlin – Christian Hampl – Doral, FL USA
Sailfish – Chris Jessen – Sarasota, FL USA
Spearfish – Julie Crispin – Sewall’s Point, FL USA
Striped Marlin – Kristen Richardson – Baton Rouge, LA USA

 

Top Tagging Captains – Atlantic Ocean
Blue Marlin – Martin Bates – Auckland, New Zealand
Sailfish – Fin Gaddy – Manteo, NC USA
Swordfish – Nick Stancyzk – Islamorada, FL USA
White Marlin – Christian Benazeth – Auch, France

 

Top Tagging Captains – Indian Ocean
Black Marlin – Eddy Lawler – Exmouth, WA Australia
Blue Marlin – Eddy Lawler – Exmouth, WA Australia
Sailfish – Terrence Farrell – Alyangula, NT Australia
Striped Marlin – Eddy Lawler – Exmouth, WA Australia

 

Regional Tag & Release Competition
Black Marlin – Tim Richardson – Bangalow, NSW Australia
Blue Marlin – Bobby McGuinness – Golfito, Costa Rica
Sailfish – Ben Horning – Jupiter, FL USA
Spearfish – Gene Vander Hoek – Kailua-Kona, HI USA
Striped Marlin – Wilks Hammock – Pensacola, FL USA

 

Top Release Anglers – Atlantic Ocean
Blue Marlin – Mike Brauser – Lighthouse Point, FL USA
Sailfish – T. David Lohr – Rockville, VA USA
Spearfish – Gray Ingram – Jupiter, FL USA
White Marlin – Laurent Sahyoun – Mandelieu, France

 

Top Release Anglers – Indian Ocean
Black Marlin – Riley Smith – Exmouth, WA Australia

 

Top Release Anglers – Pacific Ocean
Black Marlin – Barry Alty – Gold Coast, QLD Australia
Blue Marlin – Chris Jessen – Sarasota, FL USA
Sailfish – Jack Duvall – Kemah, TX USA
Striped Marlin – Jack Duvall – Kemah, TX USA

 

Top Release Captains – Atlantic Ocean
Blue Marlin – Zak Conde – San Vicente, Cape Verde
Sailfish – Fin Gaddy – Manteo, NC USA
Spearfish – Ronnie Fields – Lake Park, FL USA
White Marlin – Christian Benazeth – Auch, France

 

Top Release Captains – Indian Ocean
Black Marlin – Eddy Lawler – Exmouth, WA Australia
Blue Marlin – Eddy Lawler – Exmouth, WA Australia
Sailfish – Eddy Lawler – Exmouth, WA Australia

 

Top Release Captains – Pacific Ocean
Black Marlin – Brett Alty – Gold Coast, QLD Australia
Blue Marlin – Ben Horning – Jupiter, FL USA
Sailfish – Brad Philipps, Guatemala City, Guatemala
Striped Marlin – Benito Agundez – San Ysidro, CA USA

 

Overall Tagging Winners
Top Overall Tagging Angler – Chris Jessen – Sarasota, FL USA
Top Overall Lady Tagging Angler – Laura Jessen – Sarasota, FL USA
Top Overall Youth Tagging Angler – Kaleb Richardson – Lafayette, LA USA
Top Overall Tagging Captain – Ben Horning – Jupiter, FL USA

 

Overall Release Winners
Top Overall Release Angler – Chris Jessen – Sarasota, FL USA
Top Overall Release Lady Angler – Lisa Everett – Nags Head, NC USA
Top Overall Release Youth Angler – Darren Philipps – Guatemala City, Guatemala
Top Overall Release Captain – Brad Philipps – Guatemala City, Guatemala

 

 

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TBF SUBMITS COMMENTS ON Amendment 5b – Dusky Sharks

The Billfish Foundation (TBF) recently submitted comments to the proposed regulations included in Amendment 5b to the Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan – regarding the reduction of dusky shark mortality. Learn why the current preferred measures for recreational fishing as written will have direct, and significant, negative impacts on non-shark recreational fisheries.

Read our comments below.

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TBF Submits Comments On the Pacific Bluefin Fishery

On December 12th, The Billfish Foundation’s (TBF) submitted official comments on Pacific Bluefin Tuna (PBFT) being potentially listed in the Endangered Species Act. Learn why PBFT potential listing would be more symbolic in nature as a conservation measure and would be a detrimental to the recreational fishing community in the region. A better solution for PBFT would be for the U.S. to lead a campaign to list Pacific Bluefin tuna under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), which focuses solely on protecting species at risk from commercial exploitation internationally by prohibiting international sales.

Read our official comments below.

The post TBF Submits Comments On the Pacific Bluefin Fishery appeared first on The Billfish Foundation.

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Many Ways to Support TBF!

Members and friends of The Billfish Foundation have a long tradition of generous giving to support the many vital programs furthering the mission of conserving billfish worldwide. Since its founding in 1986, TBF’s achievements have been significant. Our success would not have been possible without the support of countless individuals and organizations. Please take a few moments to review the many ways you can give financially to TBF.

  • Matching Programs – ask you employer. Many companies will match charitable contributions made by their employees and their spouses. With a small effort, you might be able to double your gift!
  • Memorial and Tribute Gifts – make a difference for billfish as you honor a special person or mark an important event. Or ask friends and family to make a gift in your honor instead of the birthday present you don’t need! TBF regularly receives gifts representing an expression of sympathy, or to celebrate a wedding, anniversary or birthday.
  • Gift Memberships – a great way to introduce a fellow angler or family member to the importance of our conservation programs and the benefits of TBF membership.
  • Monthly Giving – if you would like to support the operations of TBF with a monthly donation over and above your regular membership, we would be happy to establish a recurring monthly gift with your credit card. This can make giving to TBF both easy and affordable to your budget. A little bit each month can do so much to save billfish for future generations.
  • Stocks and Bonds – your gift of appreciated securities is the opportunity to make a substantial gift while taking a charitable tax deduction and avoiding the capital gains on the amount of the appreciation. TBF has a special account to receive these gifts; check with us for wiring instructions.
  • Trusts – there are many types of trusts that will allow you to set aside assets for TBF, either to receive the income from the assets now, or to receive the assets at a later time. TBF would be happy to work with you or your advisor to explain how a trust might meet your needs.
  • Bequests – after providing for family and others, remembering TBF in your will is a wonderful way to show your support. A bequest can be a specific amount, a gift of certain securities or other assets, a percentage of your estate or the remainder of your estate after other gifts are fulfilled. TBF can offer language or would be happy to work with you and your advisors to meet your particular wishes. Make a gift that costs you nothing today but helps ensure the future of billfishing.
  • Retirement Plan Gifts – naming TBF as a beneficiary of your 401(k) or other retirement account assets will allow the assets to come to TBF without incurring any estate taxes. If you include TBF as a beneficiary of retirement account assets, you only need to update your Designation of Beneficiary Form for your retirement account and there is no need to update your will. Check with your 401(k) or other retirement plan provider to be sure you have completed the proper forms.
  • Life Insurance – as with retirement plan assets, your interest in a life insurance policy may be passed on to TBF by completing a Designation of Beneficiary Form. TBF would receive the assets directly and there is no effect on other assets passing through your estate. By discussing you plans in advance with TBF, we can make sure your gift is applied to the programs of most interest to you, or to our general operations if you so desire.

For any questions about membership, memorials, tributes or other current gifts, please contact Deborah_Cummings@billfish.org or call Deborah at 800-438-8247, x106. To discuss any other planned gifts, contact Robert_Jones@billfish.org or call Robert at 800-438-8247, x113.

DONATE NOW!

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Back To the 80’s Live Auction Preview

Take a peek at some of the items we have in store for you to bid on for our live auction at our annual fundraiser, Back to the 80’s! Be sure to bid high, as all the proceeds go to billfish conservation!

For more information on the event and to purchase your tickets or table, click here.

The post Back To the 80’s Live Auction Preview appeared first on The Billfish Foundation.

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TBF Mobile Application Goes Live!

TBF launches free mobile application to easily report and search tag and release data.

 

Over the past 26 years, the sportfishing community has provided The Billfish Foundation (TBF) with over 220,000 tag and release records, making it the largest private billfish database worldwide. The data received helps marine researchers gain insight into migratory patterns, growth rates, habitat usage, and the overall health of billfish stocks around the world. A vast majority of those records used to be received on our traditional cards via post, but with TBF’s online system launch several years ago, there has been an incredible 45% increase in reported data from anglers, captains, and mates since 2014. With a large shift of people moving from desktop users into mobile devices, TBF wanted to make it easier and more convenient for the “mobile” angler (or the angler on-the-go) to continue to participate in the tag & release program.

Engagement is a large part of the success of TBF’s Tag & Release Program. TBF is excited to introduce a new way for anglers to easily report and search tag and release data – TBF’s mobile application. Currently only available for Apple products, search the App Store for “The Billfish Foundation” and download!

The new TBF mobile application will allow the user to more easily and quickly report their tagged fish, and released fish (with no tag), with their device automatically entering the latitude and longitude based on the angler’s location and allowing the user to select if they are  an  angler or captain. It will also allow the user to post a picture with the record, explore recent TBF tag & release data including recaptures, and create/modify their own profile. All of the data entered into the application is sent to TBF’s database and if edits are necessary, you can make them via the application or through our traditional desktop version.

Make sure to download today as it will only be free for the next several weeks, after which all proceeds will be donated back to support billfish conservation. TBF appreciates your support and we look forward to your feedback on this new billfish conservation tool.

 

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Updated 2016 Gulf of Mexico Marlin Tagging Competition Standings

Tournament season is coming to a close which means opportunities to get out there are getting fewer and the competition is stiff. Here are the current standings for the 2016 Gulf of Mexico Marlin Tagging competition.  All fishing must be completed by October 31, and all tag cards need to be either entered by you (tagbillfish.org) or in the TBF office by November 15, NO EXCEPTIONS! Mail, fax, email, hand delivered, however you prefer is fine with us, but they cannot be late.

Please note, there are still numerous cards to be entered that you may have sent in some time ago. Rest assured, all cards will be entered, but the surest way for your records to be up-to-date is to enter them yourself at www.tagbillfish.org.

As of 9/7/16

Overall Tagging Angler
1. Kaleb Richardson
2. Dana Foster
3. Lee Leboeuf

Overall Tagging Captain
1. Chris Mowad
2. Myles Colley
3. Jimmy Crochet
4. Ryan Reaux
5. Adam Ladnier, Ryan Easterling (tie)

Top Tagging Angler – Blue Marlin
1. Kaleb Richardson
2. Dana Foster

Top Tagging Angler – White Marlin
1. Kaleb Richardson
2. Lee Leboeuf

Top Tagging Boat
1. Whoo Dat
2. Born2Run
3. Conundrum
4. Reel Blues
5. Southern Miss

Top Tagging Captain – Blue Marlin
1. Myles Colley
2. Chris Mowad
3. Jimmy Crochet

Top Tagging Captain – White Marlin
1. Chris Mowad
2. Ryan Easterling, Ryan Reaux (tie)

Youth Division (Tag)
1. Kaleb Richardson

The post Updated 2016 Gulf of Mexico Marlin Tagging Competition Standings appeared first on The Billfish Foundation.

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Updated Standings for 2016 Annual Tag & Release Competition

Fall is almost here, and that means the competition year is winding down. Here are the current standings for the 2016 International Tag & Release competition. Those of you in first place, don’t rest too easy, there’s still 2 months of fishing to go, and those of you not yet on the board still have time. All fishing must be completed by October 31, and all tag cards need to be either entered by you (tagbillfish.org) or in the TBF office by November 15, NO EXCEPTIONS! Mail, fax, email, hand delivered, however you prefer is fine with us, but they cannot be late.

Please note, there are still numerous cards to be entered that you may have sent in some time ago. Rest assured, all cards will be entered, but the surest way for your records to be up-to-date is to enter them yourself at www.tagbillfish.org.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Simpson.

 

Overall Release Captain

  1. 1. Brad Philipps
  2. 2. Ronnie Fields
  3. 3. Ben Horning
  4. 4. Dean Panos
  5. 5. Victor Julio Lopez Pizarro

 

 

Overall Tagging Captain

  1. 1. Ben Horning
  2. 2. Bobby McGuinness
  3. 3. Bomber Farrell
  4. 4. Tim Richardson
  5. 5. Kurt Williamson

 

 

Overall Release Angler

  1. 1. John Duvall
  2. 2. Gray Ingram
  3. 3. Chris Jessen
  4. 4. Laura Jessen
  5. 5. Lisa Everett

 

 

Overall Tagging Angler

  1. 1. Chris Jessen
  2. 2. Christian Hampl
  3. 3. Laura Jessen
  4. 4. Darryl Schroeder
  5. 5. John Duvall

 

Overall Release Lady Angler

  1. 1. Laura Jessen
  2. 2. Lisa Everett
  3. 3. Amanda Cofer
  4. 4. Amy Inamdar
  5. 5. Sharon Poulter

 

 

Overall Tagging Lady Angler

  1. 1. Laura Jessen
  2. 2. Corinne Heiligbrodt
  3. 3. Lynette Robb
  4. 4. Martha Macnab
  5. 5. Jada Holt

 

 

Overall Release Youth Angler

  1. 1. Brown Gaddy
  2. 2. Charles Gaddy
  3. 3. Chloe Cofer
  4. 4. Wil Cunningham
  5. 5. Toby Mason

 

 

Overall Tagging Youth Angler

  1. 1. Kaleb Richardson
  2. 2. Hefner Apling
  3. 3. Toby Mason
  4. 4. Nuno Abohbot Jr.
  5. 5. Cohen Cocke

 

 

Top Tagging Angler- Atlantic

Blue Marlin

  1. 1. Kaleb Richardson
  2. 2. Dana Foster
  3. 3. Charles Cooke
  4. 4. John Paul Bonin
  5. 5. Gordo Heldewier

 

 

Sailfish

  1. 1. Marco Couto
  2. 2. Cam Nicolson
  3. 3. Sergio Santos
  4. 4. Nuno Abohbot
  5. 5. Ruben Leal

 

 

White Marlin

  1. 1. Corinne Heiligbrodt
  2. 2. Peter Cherasia
  3. 3. Nick Rauco
  4. 4. Chris Wood
  5. 5. Kaleb Richardson

 

 

Top Release Angler- Atlantic

Blue Marlin

  1. 1. Dana Foster
  2. 2. Kevin Paul
  3. 3. Jerome Chavet

 

 

Sailfish

  1. 1. Jacob Lepera
  2. 2. CeCe Imbrie
  3. 3. Jess Kunkel
  4. 4. Eric Hull
  5. 5. Chris DeLeo

 

 

Top Tagging Captain- Atlantic

Blue Marlin

  1. 1. Myles Colley
  2. 2. Tim Richardson
  3. 3. Corey Hurst
  4. 4. Chris Mowad
  5. 5. Sean Young

 

 

Sailfish

  1. 1. Fin Gaddy
  2. 2. Bouncer Smith
  3. 3. Doug Covin
  4. 4. Iain Nicolson
  5. 5. Vitor Ros

 

 

White Marlin

  1. 1. Rich Barrett
  2. 2. Tim Richardson
  3. 3. Jimmy Grant
  4. 4. Darin Chafin
  5. 5. Sean Young

 

 

Swordfish

  1. 1. Nick Stanczyk

 

 

 

Top Release Captain- Atlantic

Blue Marlin

  1. 1. Mike Standing
  2. 2. Miles Colley
  3. 3. Tim Richardson
  4. 4. Corey Hurst
  5. 5. Luiz Roque

 

 

Sailfish

  1. 1. Dean Panos
  2. 2. Fin Gaddy
  3. 3. Jeff Scott
  4. 4. Doug Covin
  5. 5. Dennis Endee

 

 

White Marlin

  1. 1. Jimmy Grant
  2. 2. Dennis Endee
  3. 3. Mike Standing
  4. 4. Tim Richardson

 

 

 

Top Tagging Angler- Pacific

Black Marlin

  1. 1. Stephan Kreupl
  2. 2. Lynette Robb

 

Blue Marlin

  1. 1. Christian Hampl
  2. 2. Pablo Pebe
  3. 3. Chris Jessen
  4. 4. Jada Holt
  5. 5. Laura Jessen

 

Sailfish

  1. 1. Chris Jessen
  2. 2. Laura Jessen
  3. 3. Darryl Schoeder
  4. 4. John Henry David
  5. 5. Christian Hampl

 

Striped Marlin

  1. 1. John Duvall
  2. 2. Martha MacNab
  3. 3. Kristen Richardson
  4. 4. Lynette Robb
  5. 5. Brandi Reed

 

Spearfish

  1. 1. Julie Crispin

 

 

Top Release Angler- Pacific

Black Marlin

  1. 1. Stephan Kreupl
  2. 2. Jason Solway
  3. 3. Jason Shearwater
  4. 4. Barry Alty
  5. 5. Sharon Poulter

 

 

Blue Marlin

  1. 1. Christian Hampl
  2. 2. Chris Jessen
  3. 3. Pablo Pebe
  4. 4. Thomas Garmany
  5. 5. Barry Alty

 

 

Sailfish

  1. 1. John Duvall
  2. 2. Gray Ingram
  3. 3. Chris Jessen
  4. 4. Laura Jessen
  5. 5. Lisa Everett

 

 

Striped Marlin

  1. 1. John Duvall
  2. 2. Brent Roland
  3. 3. Martha Macnab
  4. 4. Edward Merriman

 

 

 

Top Tagging Captain- Pacific

Black Marlin

  1. 1. Tim Richardson
  2. 2. Chris Dwyer
  3. 3. Bomber Farrell

 

 

Blue Marlin

  1. 1. Bobby McGuinness
  2. 2. Ben Horning
  3. 3. Chip Van Mols
  4. 4. Skeet Warren
  5. 5. Sean Swetman

 

 

Sailfish

  1. 1. Ben Horning
  2. 2. Thomas “Tucker” Colquhoun
  3. 3. Bomber Farrell
  4. 4. Bobby McGuinness
  5. 5. Sean Swetman

 

 

Striped Marlin

  1. 1. Jaime Gonzalez
  2. 2. Wilks Hammock
  3. 3. Benito Agundez
  4. 4. Tony Araiza
  5. 5. Chris Dwyer

 

 

Spearfish

  1. 1. Brian Toney

 

 

 

Top Release Captain- Pacific

Black Marlin

  1. 1. Brett Alty
  2. 2. Tim Richardson
  3. 3. Laurie Wright

 

 

Blue Marlin

  1. 1. Ben Horning
  2. 2. Bobby McGuinness
  3. 3. Brad Philipps
  4. 4. Brett Alty
  5. 5. Victor Julio Lopez Pizarro

 

 

Sailfish

  1. 1. Brad Philipps
  2. 2. Ronnie Fields
  3. 3. Ben Horning
  4. 4. Victor Julio Lopez Pizarro
  5. 5. Chris Van Leeuwen

 

 

Striped Marlin

  1. 1. Benito Agundez
  2. 2. William Cesena
  3. 3. Ty Valli
  4. 4. Tony Araiza
  5. 5. Brad Philipps

 

 

 

Top Tagging Angler – Indian

Black Marlin

  1. 1. Scott MacGowan
  2. 2. Toby Mason
  3. 3. Matar Alyabhouni
  4. 4. Jo-Ann Riley

 

 

Blue Marlin

  1. 1. Scott MacGowan

 

 

Sailfish

  1. 1. Henry Riggs-Miller
  2. 2. Jack Ogden
  3. 3. Mike Mason
  4. 4. Russell Bartlett
  5. 5. Toby Mason

 

 

 

Top Tagging Captain- Indian

Black Marlin

  1. 1. Jo-Ann Riley
  2. 2. Scott MacGowan
  3. 3. Randy Bradley
  4. 4. Eddy Lawler
  5. 5. Ross Newton

 

 

Blue Marlin

  1. 1. Eddy Lawler
  2. 2. Ross Newton
  3. 3. Jason Browning
  4. 4. Randy Bradley
  5. 5. Ken Adcock

 

 

Sailfish

  1. 1. Kurt Williamson
  2. 2. Rolly Pierre
  3. 3. Jourdain (Jeda) Ellens
  4. 4. Randy Bradley
  5. 5. Perry Rosalie

 

 

Striped Marlin

  1. 1. Eddy Lawler 

 

 

 

Top Release Captain- Indian

Black Marlin

  1. 1. Randy Bradley
  2. 2. Jason Browning

 

 

Female Division (Tag)

  1. 1. Laura Jessen
  2. 2. Corinne Heiligbrodt
  3. 3. Lynette Robb
  4. 4. Martha Macnab
  5. 5. Jada Holt

 

 

Female Division (Release)

  1. 1. Laura Jessen
  2. 2. Lisa Everett
  3. 3. Amanda Cofer
  4. 4. Amy Inamdar
  5. 5. Sharon Poulter

 

 

Youth Division (Tag)

8 and under

  1. 1. Sebastian Ortiz Stoessel
  2. 2. Charles Gaddy

 

11 – 12

  1. 1. Hefner Appling
  2. 2. Cohen Cocke
  3. 3. Ian Perez
  4. 4. Aidan Burke

 

13 – 15

  1. 1. Kaleb Richardson
  2. 2. Jamyn Kirkland
  3. 3. Oliver Hoffman
  4. 4. Riley Smith

 

16 – 17

  1. 1. Toby Mason
  2. 2. Nuno Abohbot Jr.
  3. 3. Shawn MacMullin

 

 

 

Youth Division (Release)

8 and under

  1. 1. Brown Gaddy
  2. 2. Charles Gaddy
  3. 3. Chloe Cofer

 

13 – 15

  1. 1. Wil Cunningham
  2. 2. Ethan Standing

 

16 – 17

  1. 1. Toby Mason 

The post Updated Standings for 2016 Annual Tag & Release Competition appeared first on The Billfish Foundation.

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TBF’s Junior Angler Program

Do you remember where, when, and what you used to catch the first fish that got you “hooked” on fishing? Who were you with and how did that singular experience get you more involved with fishing and conservation? 2016 is year of the Junior Angler for The Billfish Foundation and TBF is developing content for their Junior Angler Program and we would love for you to be a part of it. We want to get a first hand report on your most memorable fishing experience – not necessarily billfish related.

We believe that many in the sportfishing community (and our members especially) have shown great commitment and passion to furthering conservation and would love to honor that with your words. TBF wants to recognize your achievements, dedication to the sport, and the first time you were “hooked” in pursing this lifestyle. The anglers represented in this program will spearhead it and will in turn be acknowledged as a representative of the program to show others why conservation and fishing go hand in hand. The interview will take place over email or phone and photos/videos are needed to share the story. We hope to hear from many of you. Please contact tag@billfish.org to have your story shared.

Please use the hashtag #tbfjr on social media so we can share and recognize you, your family and friends fishing.

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Incidental Bluefin Tuna Caught by Anglers in Gulf

This summer’s Gulf of Mexico’s tournament season began “white hot” with good numbers of marlin, including large ones, and bluefin tuna, which presented unexpected excitement for anglers in the region.  Federal fishery regulations prohibit the targeting of bluefin tuna by both the commercial and recreational fisheries in the Gulf, but each category is allowed a limited “incidental” landing quota of the species.  An incidental catch occurs when anglers target another species, marlin or other tunas, and have a bluefin tuna take the bait.  Only recently, thanks to TBF, has the government allocated a quota for bluefin tuna caught by anglers in the Gulf. The quota is small, only 3,306.9 pounds, which can be filled quickly with a few large bluefin tuna.  The first bluefin weighed 647.80 pounds and was caught by Sydney Turner on board the boat You Never Know during the Mobile Big Game Fishing Club’s Memorial Day Tournament; that tuna won the Tuna Category in the tournament.  A second bluefin tuna was caught and weighed in the Gulf of Mexico during the Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic, an event that did not include bluefin as a qualifying fish in their tuna division.  The fish landed by Trey Thormahlen on board the boat the Bimini Babe weighed 541 pounds.   It will not take but a few more large bluefin to be weighed for the quota to be met and the season closed.  Boats can only keep one trophy size (73” + fork of tail to lower jaw) bluefin a year in the Gulf.

 

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General Category Atlantic Bluefin Retention Limit Adjustment

NMFS Adjusts the General Category Daily Retention Limit for June-August 2016 to Five Fish

May 11, 2016

Courtesy of National Marine Fisheries Service

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is adjusting the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) General category daily retention limit from the default limit of one to five large medium or giant BFT (measuring 73″ or greater) per vessel per day/trip for June 1 through August 31, 2016 (the General category does not open until June 1, 2016). The approved gear types for Atlantic Tunas General category permitted vessels are rod and reel, handline, bandit gear, greenstick, and harpoon.

In deciding the retention limit, NMFS considered the amount of available quota, effects of the action on the fishery, availability of BFT on the fishing grounds, the data collected from the fishery, the effects on the stock and on accomplishing the objectives management plans. This action is intended to provide opportunities to harvest the available U.S. BFT quota without exceeding it; prevent overharvest of the 2016 General category quota; and collect a broad range of data for stock monitoring purposes.

Changes applicable to General category permit holders

The daily retention limit adjustment applies to vessels permitted in the commercial Atlantic tunas General category and the HMS Charter/Headboat category while fishing commercially (not-for hire fishing). It is effective for all areas except for the Gulf of Mexico, which is designated as BFT spawning grounds and vessels are not allow to target BFT. Regardless of the duration of a fishing trip, no more than a single day’s retention limit may be possessed, retained, or landed. For example (and specific to the June through August 2016 limit), whether a vessel fishing under the General category limit takes a two-day trip or makes two trips in one day, the daily limit of five fish may not be exceeded upon landing.

Current Limits for HMS Angling and Charter/Headboat Vessels

Effective April 23, 2016, through December 31, 2016, the bluefin tuna (BFT) daily retention limits are the following. For HMS Angling-permitted vessels: 2 school BFT (27 to <47″) + 1 large school/small medium BFT (47 to <73″); for HMS Charter/Headboat-permitted vessels: 3 school BFT + 1 large school/small medium BFT. These limits are effective for all areas except the Gulf of Mexico. The recreational BFT trophy fishery (73″+) is currently open north of 39°18′ (off Great Egg Inlet, NJ) as well as in the Gulf of Mexico with a limit of 1 BFT measuring 73″ or greater/vessel/year. For further information, see notices in library (at left).

NMFS will continue to monitor the BFT fisheries closely. General category, HMS Charter/Headboat, Harpoon, and Angling category vessel owners are required to report the catch of all BFT retained or discarded dead, within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip, by accessing hmspermits.noaa.gov.

Please keep informed and up to date on changes to retention limits, quotas and closures through TBF’s news and sign up for our monthly newsletter. For more information please contact Science & Policy Specialist, Michael Kelly at Michael_Kelly@billfish.org.

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State Flushes Polluted Water onto East Coast Reefs but Coral Reef Initiative targets recreational fishing

The South East Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI), coordinated under Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection’s Coral Reef Conservation Program, momentum is driven by a  tax exempt organization 501 (c) (3)  – Friends of Our Florida Reefs (FOFR), founded in 2015. The non-profit makes prominent the words “Our Florida Reefs” as a mantra for its movement to support and enhance the state’s Department of Environmental Protection’s Coral Reef Conservation Program (FDEP CRCP).  Florida Statute 112.3251 identifies such an organization as a citizens’ support group (CSG), which can raise money for its organizational needs, but it also can raise funds to help fill government budget gaps. Helping to fill budget gaps could garner favor with government decision makers.  The non-profit strives to secure protections for the coral reefs offshore from the St. Lucie Inlet south to the northern border of Biscayne National Park.

FOFR established Community Working Groups (CWG or the Groups) that invite citizens to gather and discuss mutual reef issues of concern; the groups have benefit of the state government providing public notices for their meetings. The Groups’ members have identified an array of concerns they believe threaten the reefs, including recreational fishing.  Most all who enjoy Florida’s marine waters embrace the goal of conserving reefs, but the devil will be in the details.  The Groups are drafting management recommendations for the “use and protection of Florida east coast reefs,” which no doubt will include restrictions on recreational fishing, yet recreational fishing interests included in the discussions are extremely limited. Management of recreational fishing should be under the jurisdiction of the state’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Before targeting responsible users of offshore state waters, why didn’t the Groups focus their energy directly on the major threat to the east coast reefs –government discharge of toxic runoff from Lake Okeechobee into the Atlantic Ocean and rivers?  Toxic water, 70,000 gallons per second, poses more harm to Florida’s east coast reefs than recreational fishing or boating.  

The next “all day” Community Working Group meeting is scheduled for June 1 between 8:30 am – 5:00 pm at the Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek.  The purpose of this meeting is to continue developing more management recommendations.  All day meetings are not conducive to genuine public inclusion for most people work eight hours a day. TBF will stay on top of this issue and be present at meetings. Stay Tuned and share with your friends.

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The Billfish Foundation Announces 2016 Rybovich Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

For Immediate Release   –  May 4, 2016                  

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA –  Today, The Billfish Foundation (TBF), the world’s leading sportfishing conservation organization for marlin, sailfish, spearfish and associated highly migratory fish, is celebrating its 30th Anniversary and is announcing the winners of its prestigious Rybovich Lifetime Achievement Award – Captain Kelvin “Red” Bailey, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, Captain Ernie Foster, Hatteras, North Carolina and Bonnie Powell, Brandon, Florida.  The Award is named in honor of the late John Rybovich, a pioneer in billfish conservation and sportfishing vessel design.  Award presentations will be made during TBF’s annual gala, held this year on Friday, November 4, 2016 at the Harbor Beach Marriott resort on Ft. Lauderdale Beach, Florida.

Captain Kelvin “Red” Bailey, of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, began sportfishing when famous Captain Tommy Gifford offered him, as a 19 year old, a mate’s job saying “if you’re interested son, you can start tomorrow.” Red started and 52 years later continues to show up tomorrow.  Following his time with Gifford, Red worked for Johnny Harms during which he earned his captain’s license allowing him to take charter clients fishing, including Dr. Lyman and Nancy Spire. Before long, Red worked for the Spires as captain of their Abigail II and their custom built Abigail III, now the oldest local charter boat on the island and owned by Red Bailey. Throughout his career Red encouraged tag and release and the use of single hooks – the Red Bailey lure by Mold Craft contains only one hook. In a Marlin Magazine interview, he noted that in the “early days” he found anglers were “more interested in the skill of sportfishing rather than catching the most fish.” He remains a promoter of the sport in the Caribbean, serving as President of the Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club’s Board of Directors, and has said he would like to be remembered as “someone who worked to ensure that sportfishing would be around for future generations to enjoy.”  Today, Red’s son, Kelvin Bailey Jr., is a charter captain and one who gave him a member of the “next generation,” a grandson who will enjoy offshore fishing one day.

Captain Ernie Foster of Hatteras, North Carolina, grew up on boats fishing in the family’s charter business, the Albatross Fleet.  His father, Capt. Ernal Foster, one might say launched charter fishing in the region in 1937 when he began charging anglers to take them fishing; others laughed.  In the early 1950s when his boat landed a 451 pound blue marlin, the Dare County’s first public relations specialist was present and took photos. When those photos spread worldwide, Hatteras was on the map as a hot spot for offshore fishing.  Ernie’s brother was the first in the region to have clients request the release of a giant blue marlin, which he did. Today, Ernie runs the Albatross III while managing the Albatross Fleet and its 250 charters a year.  Having witnessed significant changes in fishing, in government regulations and changes in the abundance of many fish species, Ernie finds it necessary to take an active role with fishery management issues. And, when some situations pit commercial fishing and recreational fishing against one another in his community, that is when Ernie most likely finds his earlier professional experience as a guidance counselor most useful.  Ernie views his community of Hatteras as a “fishing community” first, for each person there depends on fishing either directly or indirectly – a way of life Foster wants to see continue for all Hatteras residents.

Bonnie Powell of Brandon, Florida started fishing at a young age, including fishing the Tampa Tarpon Tournament year after year.  Once married to her late husband, Captain Billy Powell, they, along with their boys, fished in Bimini, where Bonnie caught a blue marlin that placed in a tournament.  Her fishing skills also have earned her two world records fishing with light tackle.   After joining the International Women’s Fishing Association (IWFA), an organization founded in 1955 by female anglers, Bonnie became very active within the group. A perfect fit for Bonnie, who, like all the other members, loves to fish, practice responsible fishing techniques, support conservation and raise funds for college scholarships.  Bonnie served on IWFA’s Board, as its President (1991 – 1993), was presented its Ann Kunkle Memorial Sportsmanship award in 1999 and was inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame (2000).  Bonnie now serves as the Executive Secretary of the International Light Tackle Tournament Association (ILTTA), once an all male fishing group, where she coordinates participation in an annual light tackle release tournament hosted by member clubs in different locations. ILTTA promotes sportfishing, camaraderie, conservation and good fishing practices. Bonnie also provides radio services for The Masters Angling Tournament, for the Ocean Reef Cup, and for the Stuart Sailfish Club’s Light Tackle Tournament. Bonnie is also known for her delightful “people skills.”

Please join TBF in congratulating winners on their lifetime achievement awards and have fun celebrating TBF’s 30th anniversary of advancing billfish conservation worldwide.  TBF is a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt organization created in 1986 by anglers to insure healthy stocks of fish and great sportfishing opportunities worldwide.

Contact: Ellen_peel@billfish.org                                                                                                            (954) 202-9267                                  

 

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Rum Bum Racing Suspends IMSA Campaign

Long-loyal squad hits ‘pause’ in IMSA

Orlando, Fla. (25 April 2016) –  Enough is enough, for now. After a record-setting run that saw the squad go from mere concept to winningest team in series history, Luis Bacardi’s Rum Bum Racing will suspend its 2016 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge campaign.

The team made a winning first impression in 2010, taking a victory at Daytona International Speedway in its first-ever race with drivers Matt Plumb and Gian Bacardi.

From that speedy debut, the team has accumulated in its 66 starts, 21 wins, 6 poles, and 32 podiums. It has completed 91% of total race laps, and has led 17% of those laps. The organization won the GRAND-AM Championship in 2012 and scored another spot in the record books with an encore GRAND-AM Championship again in 2013.

The team not only scored back-to-back titles for the team and drivers in 2012 and 2013, Bacardi’s Rum Bum Racing also played critical points-generating roles in the Manufacturers Championship, pushing BMW to the title in 2010 and 2011, and then doing the same for Porsche again in 2012 and 2013.

Rum Bum Racing wasn’t afraid of the big stage, either. The team came just a coffee mug of fuel short of scoring a podium in their Rolex 24 At Daytona debut in 2013 with an Audi R8, and again made a big impression with an exploratory run in IMSA’s GTD Class at Sebring in 2014.

Lead driver and General Manager Matt Plumb raced into the record books, not only becoming the winningest driver in the history of the championship, but also doing so in record time. Team Manager Joe Varde also added to his Championship record of 9 as driver and crew chief.

Aligned with Bacardi’s emerging Rum Bum brand, the team has been a successful group off the track as well. With a full merchandise line of apparel for its fans to support the team’s IMSA efforts, a remarkable social media following with over 53,000 fans on Facebook, and a concerted effort to give fans the behind the scenes look at the team via a significant video effort (www.rumbumracing.com/videos), the team has been as active getting the word out as it has to get the wins.

Originally formed ahead of the 2010 GRAND-AM season, Rum Bum Racing has remained loyal to GRAND-AM, and then IMSA. The 2015 season saw the signature preparation and pit execution from the Joe Varde-led team, however the team came up short in pace for the Championship over the powerful Stevenson Camaro. The 2016 season saw the team fighting once again to hold a lead on a number of occasions due to once again perfect strategy and execution in the pits only to suffer a devastating mechanical failure at Daytona and a third place finish at Sebring.

The team will continue to evaluate competition possibilities in the future as well as investigate partnership opportunities.

Rum Bum Racing Information:
2010: 3 Wins (Daytona, Trois-Rivieres, Miller Motorsports Park)
BMW Manufacturer Championship
2011: 3 Wins (Daytona, Lime Rock Park, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course)
BMW Manufacturer Championship
2012: 5 Wins (Barber Motorsports Park, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Road America, Watkins Glen, Lime Rock Park)
IMSA Team Champions, Porsche wins Manufacturer Championship
2013: 3 Wins (Barber Motorsports Park, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Road America)
IMSA Team and Driver Champions, Porsche wins Manufacturer Championship
2014: 1 Win (Kansas Speedway)
2015: 3 Wins (Daytona, Road America, Virginia International Raceway)

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Daily Trip Limit Adjustments for Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Angling Category

Courtesy of National Marine Fisheries Service

April 20, 2016

Today National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announces adjustments to the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) daily retention limits that apply to vessels permitted in the Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Angling category and the HMS Charter/Headboat category (when fishing recreationally for BFT) effective April 23, 2016, through December 31, 2016, as follows:

New retention limits for HMS Angling vessels effective April 23, 2016 to December 31, 2016. Courtesy of NMFS.

In deciding these retention limits, NMFS considered the regulatory determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments, which include available quota, fishery performance in recent years, availability of BFT on the fishing grounds, and the effects of the adjustment on the stock and on accomplishing the objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and amendments.  These limits should provide opportunities to harvest the available U.S. BFT quota without exceeding it; prevent overharvest of the 2016 quotas; and collect a broad range of data for stock monitoring purposes.

Who is Affected?

These daily retention limits apply to vessels permitted in the recreational HMS Angling category and the HMS Charter/Headboat category while fishing recreationally.  The daily retention limits are effective for all areas except for the Gulf of Mexico, which is designated as BFT spawning grounds and where NMFS does not allow targeted fishing for BFT.  Regardless of the duration of a fishing trip (e.g., whether a vessel takes a two-day trip or makes two trips in one day), no more than a single day’s retention limit may be possessed, retained, or landed.

NMFS will continue to monitor the BFT fisheries closely.  General category, HMS Charter/ Headboat, Harpoon, and Angling category vessel owners are required to report the catch of all BFT retained or discarded dead, within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip, by accessing hmspermits.noaa.gov.  Depending on fishing effort and catch rates, additional retention limit adjustments or fishery closures may be necessary to ensure available quota is not exceeded or to enhance scientific data collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas.

NMFS regulations at 50 CFR 635.21(a)(1) require that all BFT that are released be handled in a manner that will maximize survivability, and without removing the fish from the water.  For additional information on safe handling, see the Careful Catch and Release brochure available atwww.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/.

For additional information, go to hmspermits.noaa.gov , the official notice or contact Science & Policy Specialist, Michael Kelly at Michael_Kelly@Billfish.org .

Attention: NMFS announced that as of April 10, 2016 the bluefin tuna Trophy Angling Category south area is closed for large medium and giant “trophy” bluefin tuna (73” or greater) in the southern area by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for the remainder of 2016. The southern area is the area south of 39°18’N (off Great Egg Inlet, NJ), not including the Gulf of Mexico. Any bluefin tuna caught by recreational anglers in the southern area must be released. This applies to all HMS Angling and HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels in the southern area. See TBF news for further information.

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