The National Coalition for Marine Conservation (NCMC) recently teamed up with the International Game Fish Association and The Billfish Foundation to form Take Marlin Off the Menu, a campaign aimed at ending the importation and sale of Pacific marlin and sailfish within the United States (federal law has made it illegal since 1989 to sell Atlantic billfish). Billfish populations are being decimated by commercial overfishing worldwide due in part to continued consumer demand for marlin in U.S. restaurants and at seafood retailers. The campaign has hired a media team and will be reaching out to high profile chefs, restaurants, seafood vendors, anglers and consumers, asking them to go "marlin-free," or to stop eating or serving marlin and other billfish in restaurants and food markets. The campaign web site, www.takemarlinoffthemenu.org, was launched late last week. The site includes information about who the groups are, why it's important to remove billfish from the market, background on billfish, a how you can help section, as well as a newsroom.
The campaign plans to:
- Educate the American public and consumers about the threat to billfish;
- Involve chefs, retaurants, and seafood vendors to voluntarily remove marlin at U.S. restaurants and supermarkets;
- Build support for international billfish conservation among U.S. policymakers including domestic legislation to prohibit marlin and sailfish imports;
- Promote conservation of billfish on U.S. delegations to Pacific Regional Fishery Management Organizations.