TBF’s Juvenile Billfish Project

photo courtesy of Igor Assad

Juvenile Billfish Photos Needed!

TBF’s newest project focuses on juvenile billfish for very little is known about them during their early life stages due to high mortality rates and a lack of reliable tracking methods for fish of their size. A lack of information on juvenile and newborn billfish whereabouts and habits leaves their management and advocacy for their survival in jeopardy. TBF with our research partner Dr. Freddy Arocha, TBF’s research partner and recipient of TBF’s Paxson Offield Lifetime Science Achievement Award 2019, shared that “known images from juvenile billfish are rare, and more difficult is to find an image with the data related to the image. So this is an innovative program, I have not heard of such approach elsewhere, nor the existence of any repository of the sort.”
We need your help.

We call on you to send us photos of juvenile billfish you have caught or photographed off your boat at night, along with the date of the photograph, an approximate location (including latitude
and longitude), and any other information that you might have (time of day, weather conditions, condition, and size of fish, etc.). Then, a compilation of the data and photos will be assembled and analyzed to determine whether greater insight can be learned about the early life stages of billfish.

Dr. Arocha also shared that “basic data on location will give time of year (season), location (potential nursing area), and information on essential habitat of juveniles. Including the size of the fish would be great, but we are not asking that the fish be killed, just an estimate of length including the bill. Sampling only a few fish is not highly informative, but over time the archived collection should generate a wealth of information on juvenile life history, which can help reduce uncertainty in future assessment models”. To submit your juvenile billfish photos and data, send us an email at tag@billfish.org. This is exciting research and can only be accomplished with your assistance.

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*It is important to note that a photo must be included for the entry to be usable.