The Billfish Foundation Awards 46 International Tag & Release winners

Global billfish conservation competition critical to scientific research; now in 23rd year

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. USA - Every time they fish on three oceans, anglers, captains and mates worldwide --- the heart-and-soul of The Billfish Foundation's (TBF) eminent conservation program committed to billfish tag and release -- are supplying valuable data, critical to science.

Globally since 1990 these anglers have helped marine researchers in learning the migratory habits and more of the world's billfish species.

On Feb. 16, 46 winners of TBF's 22nd year-long competition will be presented their 2011 International Tag & Release Awards at Miami's Jungle Island Treetop Ballroom. Sponsored by Bisbee's Black & Blue the awards are presented by King Sailfish Mounts, and include TBF partners http://billfish.org/1598American Custom Yachts, Costa and Dockwise Yacht Transport.

TBF's Overall Tagging Winners for all species (blue marlin, black marlin, striped marlin, white marlin, sailfish and spearfish) included Gray Ingram, Jupiter, Fla., USA, repeating his title as TBF's Overall Male Angler; as did Betsy Crudele, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., USA, as the Overall Lady Angler. Stephen Gegenheimer, Corsicana, Texas, USA, won the Overall Youth Angler and Fin Gaddy, Manteo, N.C., USA, won the Overall Captain.

Ingram also received double honors repeating in the release category of the competition as the Overall Male Angler for all species. Lisa Everett, Nags Head, N.C., USA was the Overall Lady Angler; Tyler Sudbrink, Greensboro, N.C., USA, Overall Youth Angler and Brad Philipps, Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, repeated his title as the Overall Captain.

TBF's Dir. of Science and Policy Peter Chaibongsai, said each year TBF members from more than 70 countries are invited to participate. The latest annual competition ran from Nov. 1, 2010 to Oct. 31, 2011 with "tagging data reports" and "release notification cards" generated from the temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, where a majority of the world's billfish inhabit.

To be eligible to receive an award active TBF members must have tagged and/or released five or more of a species to qualify. In addition, TBF's Youth Program created in 2001, recognizes the conservation ethics and achievements of young anglers. It includes a three fish minimum in three age groupings for both tag and release categories.

For more on TBF's annual Tag & Release program please visit http://www.bilfish.org or call 954-938-0150 for Peter Chaibongsai (ext. 107), Elliott Stark (ext. 101), Deborah Cummings (ext. 106) or Andrew Cox (ext. 100).

The Billfish Foundation Tag & Release Award Winners - 2011 year

Tag Category Winners

Top Tagging Anglers Atlantic **
Sam Jennings - Juno Beach, Fla, USA / Blue Marlin
Betsy Crudele - Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., USA / Sailfish
Richard Gudoian - Key Largo, Fla., USA / Swordfish
Victoria Roberts - Stevensville, Md., USA / White Marlin
**
Top Tagging Captains Atlantic

Mike Lemon - Juno Beach, Fla., USA / Blue Marlin
Fin Gaddy - Manteo, N.C., USA / Sailfish
Sean O'Connor - Key Largo, Fla., USA / Swordfish
Fin Gaddy - Manteo, N.C., USA / White Marlin

**Top Tag Anglers Pacific **
John Richardson - Bellville, Texas, USA / Black Marlin
Saegusa Kumie - Yohohama, Japan / Blue Marlin
Gray Ingram - Greensboro, N.C., USA / Sailfish
Suzanne Gustavson - Kona, Hawaii, USA / Spearfish
Martha MacNab - Balboa Island, Calif., USA / Striped Marlin

**Top Tag Captains Pacific **
Adolfo Grajales - Bellville, Texas, USA / Black Marlin
Gene Vander Hoek - Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, USA / Blue Marlin
Jimmy Kitchell - Galveston, Texas, USA / Sailfish
Gene Vander Hoek - Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, USA / Spearfish
Antonio Romero Castro - Cabo San Lucas, MEX / Striped Marlin
**
Top Tag Anglers Indian **
Terence Farrell - Alyangula, Australia (tied) / Sailfish
Calvin Du Plessis --Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Top Tag Captains Indian **
Bernard Vale - Coral Bay, AUS / Black Marlin
Ross Newton - Broome, AUS / Blue Marlin
Ross Newton - Broome, AUS (tied) / Sailfish
Rolly Pierre - Seychelles
**
Top Youth Tagging winners

Bo Ingram - Greensboro, N.C., USA / 9 -10 winner
Riley Rogers - Bakerfield, Calif., USA / 11-12 winner
Bruce Marinis - Broome, AUS / 13 -15 winner
Wesley Davis - Malibu, Calif., USA / runner-up
Stephen Gegenheimer - Corsicana, Texas, USA / 16-17 winner
Tyler Sudbrink - Greensboro, NC runner-up

**Overall Tagging Winners for all species **
Gray Ingram - Jupiter, Fla., USA / Overall Angler
Fin Gaddy - Manteo, N.C., USA / Overall Captain
Betsy Crudele - Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., USA / Overall Lady Angler
Stephen Gegenheimer - Corsicana, Texas, USA / Overall Youth Angler

Release Category Winners

**Top Release Anglers Atlantic **
Andy Fanter - Great Bend, Kansas, USA (tied) / Blue Marlin
Tim Twiddy - Glasgow, U.K.
Paul Legnard - Arnold, Md., USA / Sailfish
Scott Cooper - Mobile, Ala., USA / Swordfish
Gray Ingram - Jupiter, Fla., USA / White Marlin
**
Top Release Captains Atlantic **
Zak Conde - Cape Verde / Blue Marlin
Fin Gaddy - Manteo, N.C., USA / Sailfish
Russell Craft - Mobile, Ala., USA / Swordfish
Ronnie Fields - Lake Park, Fla., USA / White Marlin

**Top Release Anglers Pacific **
Barry Alty - Gold Coast, Australia / Black Marlin
Gary Carter - Duluth, Ga., USA / Blue Marlin
Gray Ingram - Jupiter, Fla., USA / Sailfish
Wayne Short - Cornith, Texas, USA / Striped Marlin
Jim Gigger - Keri Keri, New Zealand / Swordfish

Top Release Captains Pacific
Wade Richardson - Bellville, Texas, USA / Black Marlin
Brad Philipps - Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala / Blue Marlin
Brad Philipps - Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala / Sailfish
Julio Castro - Cabo San Lucas, MEX / Striped Marlin
John Gregory - Keri Keri, New Zealand / Swordfish
**
Top Release Anglers Indian **
Henry Riggs-Miller - Seychelles / Sailfish

Top Release Captains Indian **
Rolly Pierre - Seychelles / Sailfish
**
Top Youth Release Anglers

Olivia Ingram - Greensboro, N.C., USA / 13-15 winner
Wes Davis - Malibu, Calif., USA / Runner-up
Tyler Sudbrink - Greensboro, N.C., USA / 16-17 winner

**Overall Release Winners for all species **
Gray Ingram - Greensboro, N.C., USA / Overall Angler
Brad Philipps - Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala / Overall Captain
Lisa Everett - Nags Head, N.C., USA / Overall Lady Angler
Tyler Sudbrink - Greensboro, N.C., USA / Overall Youth Angler