Nicaragua Commits to Billfish Conservation

September 2004

Nicaragua has recognized the great economic potential of billfish tourism and will soon implement measures to protect sailfish and marlin in its Caribbean and Pacific waters. Russell Nelson, representing The Billfish Foundation (TBF) in Lima, Peru, at the June meeting of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, reported that Miguel Marenco, Director General of Nicaragua's fisheries agency, announced that his agency will implement regulations requiring circle hooks in recreational and commercial fisheries; prohibit commercial retention or sale of sailfish and marlin; and mandate catch-and-release practices in the recreational billfish fishery. Nelson told Salt Water Sportsman that Marenco formally announced the new actions to the assembled delegations in Lima, where he emphasized that "these magnificent animals are way too valuable to be harvested as food." Nelson also noted that TBF will provide Nicaragua with training and educational materials on the rigging of circle hooks and proper release techniques, and that Nicaragua seems to be in the early stages of developing as a prime sport fishing location. For more information, visit www.billfish.org.