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TBF’s Achievement Award Winners
The Billfish Foundation (TBF), the world’s leading sportfishing conservation organization for marlin, sailfish, spearfish and associated highly migratory fish, announces this year’s winners of its 3 prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards and its Distinguished Club Award. The Lifetime Achievement Awards are named in honor of three distinguished gentlemen who made exemplary contributions to advancing billfish research, conservation, responsible fishing practices and/or furthering the joy of fishing throughout their life. Winners include Michael L. Farrior from Rancho Santa Fe, CA, Captain Peter B. Wright of Stuart, FL, and Dr. Eric Prince from Niceville, FL. TBF’s Distinguished Club Award recognizes the outstanding contributions made by big game fishing clubs toward fish conservation, including billfish, and responsible fishing practices. This year’s winner is The West Palm Beach Fishing Club. The award presentations will be made on November 3, 2017 at the Harbor Beach Marriot Resort, Ft. Lauderdale Beach during TBF’s annual gala. Read more here.
Gulf of Mexico's Incidental Bluefin Tuna Allocation Closed
By conclusion of the second 2017 billfish tournament in the Gulf of Mexico, the North Atlantic bluefin tuna incidental trophy (73”+) allocation for the recreational fishery was landed. During the Orange Beach Billfish Classic Katie Gonsoulin aboard Done Deal landed a 502.4 lbs. bluefin tuna. Following that at the Mobile Big Game Fishing Club’s Memorial Day Tournament one bluefin weighing 750.2 lbs. was landed by Tom Shumate aboard Patron and a second one weighing 691.8 pounds was landed by Austin Blakeney aboard Shock Wave. The NMFS officially closed the season effective June 7. The 3 tournament bluefin tuna followed a great catch by Kaleb Richardson who landed an 835 lb bluefin tuna on the Whoo Dat in March. The recreational fishing incidental allocation of bluefin tuna in the Gulf was just authorized within the past 2 years. Read more here.
Swordfish Abound Off Mississippi
During the Miss. Gulf Coast Swordfish Tournament, held in conjunction with the Miss. Gulf Coast Billfish Classic, a lot of interest was devoted to landing swordfish in hopes of breaking the state’s 75 pound record. Twenty-four swordfish were brought to the scale and the record was broken with a swordfish weighing 242.54 pounds, caught on board Pay Dirt from Mt. Pleasant, SC.
Florida's East Coast Closed Zone
While the NMFS very recently approved an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) to OCEARCH, a research non-profit organization, to study white sharks in the Atlantic Ocean, it has yet to announce the agency’s decision on the EFP permit application submitted by Dave Kerstetter, NOVA University. The latter permit request would allow pelagic longline boats back into the 16 year closed zone off Florida’s east coast to determine whether closing out pelagic longline gear from the waters for 21 years generated any conservation benefits. Read more here.
Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission
At a recent meeting of the international regional fishery management organization charged with management of highly migratory fish in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, it was shared that potential options for electronic and physical marking of drifting FADs (fish aggregating devices) are being reviewed, increased observer coverage or the use of more electronic monitoring, and including billfish in the next IATTC bycatch working group.
TBF Sponsors In The Bite’s East Coast Captain of the Year Cup 2017
In its 15th year, In The Bite’s Captain of the Year Cup competition recognizes outstanding achievements of captains fishing sanctioned tournaments in five geographic regions — Florida, Gulf Coast, East Coast, Hawaii, and International. The point accrual system used provides the world’s only quantifiable metric for comparing the tournament success of captains in the sportfishing industry. In 2017 In The Bite’s Captain of the Year for the U.S. East Coast is being sponsored by TBF.
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