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Amazing distances traveled by billfish displayed in TBF Tag & Recapture maps

New surge of tagging needed by billfish anglers worldwide to help science and policy makers with data to validate billfish industry

September 9, 2011
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TBF tracking map

TBF tracking map

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. USA. – The 21 years of The Billfish Foundation’s (TBF) Tag and Release program is producing some amazing global research figures of how far billfish travel.

Peter Chaibongsai, TBF’s Director of Science & Policy said the non-profit organization, which is dedicated solely to conserving and enhancing billfish populations around the world, has recently acquired computer graphic capabilities of pinpointing tag and recapture locations.

“We have begun releasing recapture maps on our website www.billfish.org under the ‘what we do’ section,” said Chaibongsai. “They are also featured on TBF’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/BillfishFoundation. Using non-invasive spaghetti tags TBF has one of the most successful recapture rates for any conventional tagging program thanks to the recreational fishing community’s participation and belief that it can contribute to billfish conservation.”

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TBF has collected over 150,000 billfish tagging records since 1990 and data from over 2600 recaptured billfishes. Data can include the billfish species, locations of tag and recapture, names of the anglers, captains, boats at each point, and how long the fish traveled – some for short distances and others for thousands of miles — before being recaptured and in some cases released again.

“But with tag and release figures down over the past several years, due to the economy and lack of transparency, we hope displaying these regional and global maps will help to reinvigorate those anglers currently tagging as well as anglers who would like to start participating in TBF’s Tag & Release programs. These records help TBF by quantifying the data to policy makers and substantiating the billfish fishery. TBF wants more anglers to continue to tag and release providing us with more tagging data in the future.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, The Billfish Foundation is the only comprehensive network of members and supporters includes anglers, captains, mates, tournament directors, clubs and sportfishing businesses. By coordinating efforts and speaking with one voice, TBF is able to work for solutions that are good for billfish and not punitive to recreational anglers. For questions regarding TBF’s Tag and Release program, please contact Chaibongsai at 954-938-0150 ex 107 or email him at [email protected]

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