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January 06, 2012

TBF Launches New Tag & Release Online Database

New TROD system is a free, easy, accurate way to enter vital tagging data

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - As the records keeper for over 20 years of the world's largest private billfish tagging database covering the expanse of three oceans, The Billfish Foundation has introduced a new express, online data entry system to easily input tagging and/or release  information from anywhere in the world.

"It's called TROD, the acronym for Tag & Release Online Database," said Peter Chaibongsai TBF's Director of Science and Policy. "With today's internet access it's fast, easy and accurate allowing the user to easily enter tagging and release data from across the globe.

"It's free to both TBF members and non-members alike," Chaibongsai added. "Tag and release has been the cornerstone of TBF and we hope anglers, captains and fleets will utilize TROD as their virtual logbooks and help to facilitate more accurate and timely data to us. Every billfish that is tagged, released and recaptured provides us with one more piece of vital data for marine scientists to place into the puzzle of the mysterious lives of these large pelagic species."

Annually thousands of volunteer fishing teams on the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans take part in TBF's Tag & Release Program  Their traditional tagging information reveals details such as migration patterns, age and growth rates, all adding to a knowledge base that advances billfish science and, in turn, billfish management policies.

"Documenting billfish also illustrates the socio-economic importance of recreational fishing to policy makers in numerous countries that contact us," said Chaibongsai.

"TROD provides a faster way for the sportfishing community to enter their data, see their own data, and offers a number of unique and exciting features for anglers. The interactive program also provides TBF with more of the sound science that has been used to fight for billfish conservation and anglers' rights since TBF's tagging program's inception in 1990."

"The new data self-entry system of TROD reconciles a number of former issues with card submission, such as items being lost in the mail, illegible handwriting and incomplete data," said Chaibongsai. "We hope this will encourage more anglers and captains to become active in billfish tagging and reporting both tag and release data. Online entry will also help speed up the rewarding aspects of the Tag & Release Program. The faster TBF receives the data, the sooner our staff can mail release certificates to members and help expedite calculations for TBF's Annual Tag and Release Competition and the Collegiate Billfish National Championship."

Registration is easy and free at http://www.billfishtag.org/. Instructions on how to enter data is provided as well as troubleshooting tips.

"We hope that anglers find it user-friendly, functional and fun," added Chaibongsai. "TROD will be consistently evolving and we're looking forward to hearing feedback from registrants. Please contact us at tag@billfish.org."

For anglers wanting to learn of TBF's many benefits or to join or renew their TBF memberships they can at TBF's website at www.billfish.org .

Celebrating its 25th anniversary The Billfish Foundation works worldwide to advance the conservation of billfish and associated species and to improve the health of oceans and dependent economies. TBF's website is www.billfish.org . Chaibongsai can be reached at 800-438-8247 ex 107 or Peter_Chaibongsai@billfish.org.