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September 21, 2007

Billfish Conservationalists Meet Down Under

Cairns, Australia, was visited last summer by the world's top billfish scientists, who migrated there to share updated research on marlin, sailfish, spearfish and swordfish stocks worldwide. The Third International Billfish Symposium marked the first time since 1988 that billfish researchers, anglers and conservationists from around the world could meet. The Billfish Foundation provided key funding and acted as international host of the event, which drew 100 researchers from 27 nations. Topics discussed at the symposium included billfish genetics, migration, tagging, life history, economics and management. The conference yielded one painfully clear message: too little funding is available for billfish research due to the fact that most of the species are not highly valued as commercial food fish. In the coming years, the goals of the symposium are to increase the funding allocated to billfish research and to have recreational fishing interests represented on national delegations to international forums. For more information, contact The Billfish Foundation at (800) 438-8247 or visit www.billfish.org.