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April 2013

TBF Opposes Longline Feasibility Study in Turks & Caicos

The Billfish Foundation is currently working with recreational anglers and charter boat operations in Turks and Caicos to oppose an agreement between the Turks & Caicos government and the south Florida based Day Boat Seafood to conduct a pilot longline study in the islands’ waters. The two year study will assess the feasibility of establishing a pelagic longline fishery in South Caicos and will license two boats to set 25 miles of longlines containing 500 hooks.  The study has been authorized by the government without any stakeholder involvement or public consultation and poses a significant threat to recreationally important species that greatly impact  tourism on the islands.   Read More

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Comment Period Extended for Swordfish Amendment 8

Swordfish_TBF

The National Marine Fisheries Service recently extended the public comment period for the alternatives proposed in the Draft Amendment 8 until May 8, 2013. The Billfish Foundation will give comments at the April 10 public hearing in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and will soon make available comments for captains and anglers to send to NMFS..

The proposed alternatives could have an impact on recreational anglers, charter and headboats, and the management of swordfish in many areas where recreational anglers swordfish. The preferred alternatives create a new open-access permit for handgear that would allow easier access to the fishery as well as establish regional harvest limits by gear/vessel type.

As part of proposed alternatives, charter and headboat vessels may also be able to sell any of their swordfish catches when they are not on a for-hire trip. However for vessels with an HMS Angling Permit wishing to obtain the new open access handgear permits, it is important to note that they will forfeit their ability to target billfish outside of HMS registered tournaments.    Read More

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TBF Coordinates Caribbean Billfish Management Meeting

The Billfish Foundation in conjunction with the IGFA recently hosted stakeholders from over 11 countries and 10 organizations for a workshop to develop a billfish management and conservation plan for the nations and overseas territories under the jurisdiction of the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC). The topics discussed and documents shared were steps in the right direction for billfish conservation in the region, which currently has minimal management or consistency in the region for the species. Read More

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It's Not All About the Fun and Games at the Slack Tide Guide Gathering....

Slack TideIn addition to the much anticipated guide challenge, conservation was a hot topic during the first-annualSlack Tide Guide Gathering hosted by Costa, Simms, YETI, and Hell's Bay Boatworks on March 17, 2013 in Jensen Beach, Florida. TBF's Andrew Cox and Tarpon Bonefish Trust's JoEllen King and Sarah Stephens discussed the importance of the information generated from gamefish tagging programs and the role that conservation can play in growing a guide and charter boat business. Read More

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Beta-Testers Needed for TBF's New Tag and Release Database

The Billfish Foundation is proud to announce the redevelopment of The Tag and Release Online Database that allows anglers and captains to enter their catches online. Without giving away too many details, the new database will allow users to see maps of all their billfish catch histories, interact with historical data, and further investigate the science behind TBF's work. Now in the final testing phase, TBF is requesting beta-testers to interact with the new database and provide feedback. If interested, please email TBF's Tagging Program.

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TBF Involved in Sea Grant Event to Get Kids Fishing

On April 7th 2013, TBF participated in a Youth Fishing Clinic at Bill Baggs State Park in Key Biscayne, Florida. The Youth Fishing Clinic taught the kids about Florida's marine ecosystems and basics of fishing - how to tie and bait a hook, fishing regulations, proper casting techniques, and the importance of proper release techniques. The kids also learned about TBF's tag and release program and why recording fish data is important for science and conservation.   

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