“Anglers are the ones who can truly make a difference for the future of our billfish species. They’re the ones out there, every day, in all kinds of conditions and climates, catching and releasing fish, watching their patterns, noting their movements. Imagine how much data about highly migratory fish species we could study if we could gather every tournament anglers’ catch reports during the Quest for the Crest tournament series?” asked Amanda Perryman, marketing manager with Costa Sunglasses.
The Billfish Foundation (TBF) and Costa wanted to find out the answer to that question together. So they created the Release Report Challenge, asking teams competing in each Quest for the Crest tournament to return their completed Release Report cards with information about each catch to TBF for a chance to win a Costa/TBF prize pack.
The prize pack includes: Costa sunglasses and gear, a Costa-branded YETI cooler, a TBF complete tagging kit and more. Each release reported counts as one entry, with the prize pack winner announced after each tournament leg. One grand prize winner will be selected at the awards ceremony of the Final Sail Tournament in April to win an all-expense paid trip to Casa Vieja Lodge in Guatemala.
Teams will receive their Release Report Challenge cards when they pick up their tournament packs prior to each event. Costa and TBF representatives will be on hand at each event to hand out more cards, as needed. Qualifying fish species include sailfish, white marlin, spearfish and blue marlin. Teams only have to report information about the catch on the card – they don’t actually have to place a tag into the released fish.
“There are typically more than 50 teams competing across the Quest for the Crest series, with thousands of billfish caught during that time,” said Peter Chaibongsai, director of science and policy for TBF. “Working together with the anglers, captains and crews, we’d like to capture the data they’re finding from each catch – including weather conditions, bait used, fish size, and overall health. The information we gather together will uncover critical understanding about billfish stocks and their habitats in and around South Florida, so we can inform sound policy to protect them for generations to come.”
All fish releases reported throughout the Quest for the Crest series also qualify anglers for TBF’s SoFlo Sailfish Regional competition, as well as its annual international Tag and Release competition. For more information, visit www.billfish.org.
The Quest for the Crest tournament series includes:
Operation Sailfish, December 10 – 14, 2014
Sailfish 400, January 14 – 18, 2015
Sailfish Challenge, February 5 – 8, 2015
Final Sail, April 15 – 19, 2015