Ever wonder what science has come from The Billfish Foundation? Below are several published pieces of work that highlight some of the work TBF has done since 1986.
For close to a quarter century, captains, anglers, and mates from all across the world have submitted more than 200,000 tag and release records to TBF. Their efforts have made TBF’s Tag & Release program the largest private billfish tagging database in existence. The data collected from tag and release reports provides scientists and policy makers with a wealth of invaluable information. Unlike many other fisheries, billfish are not a commercially targeted species and much of what we know about them comes from the help of the sportfishing community.
Tag, release and recapture information from our traditional tagging program provides insight into important biological traits like growth and migration, but also incorporates important factors like fishing effort and even socioeconomics. However, it takes the expertise and dedication of TBF scientists, staff, interns, and fisheries experts to interpret this data and convert it into real, tangible conservation measures.
In addition to conventional tagging programs, satellite tagging studies have given scientist even greater details on billfish. By recording temperature, depth, and location, satellite tagging has revealed preferred environmental conditions. In turn, this information has been used by policy makers in the US to make recommendations to avoid billfish bycatch in long line fisheries. Satellite tagging has also been instrumental in estimating post release mortality for billfish (caught both recreationally and commercially). Studies conducted have clearly demonstrated the conservation benefits of using circle hooks and the impetus for mandating the use of circle hooks in all US HMS tournaments.
As key stakeholders in the marine realm, effective fisheries management must also account for the needs and impacts of anglers. Working with Southwick Associates, TBF has helped conduct socioeconomic studies on the impacts of sportfishing to highlight the tremendous socioeconomic contributions the industry generates for local economies and most importantly, for conservation.
Feel free to browse through some of the work (below) that we have done for decades now and learn how TBF has worked to better understand the species and conserve them for future generations of anglers.