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Conservation News

New All-Tackle Record Lionfish

Capt. Mike Murias with the new All-Tackle lionfish
  The invasion of western Atlantic and Caribbean waters by two voracious lionfish species (Pterois volitans and P. miles) is a continuing concern to anglers, scientists, and resource managers; research has indicated that populations of these venomous predators are growing exponentially with significant negative impacts on important marine resources. But one enterprising captain recently found a world record opportunity when he reeled in one of the exotic-looking fish, bringing new attention to the ways anglers can be part of the solution. More>>

Third longest at-large bluefin tag recovered

bluefin tuna
  IGFA Representative and IGFA Hall of Fame Inductee Captain Al Anderson has probably tagged more Atlantic bluefin tuna than any other individual.  The NMFS Pelagic Game Fish Tagging Center (Miami) has tracked his tagged bluefin tuna for well over five decades now, starting in the late 1960's.   At the present time over 4,700 plus Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) have  carried NMFS tags deployed from Anderson’s vessels....More>>
Senator Vitter Moves Fisheries Allocation Policy to the Fore
red snapper
  Senator David Vitter (R-La.) announced yesterday that he would “hold” the nominee to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) until he received a commitment that NOAA Fisheries would address the ongoing failure of the Agency to implement its own allocation policies and to provide some leadership and direction to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council...More>>
Trinidad and Tobago Ends Local Trawling
Trinidad and Tobago flag
  In a positive step towards aiding struggling fisheries, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago last week joined Australia, Brazil, Canada, and similarly conservation-minded countries in banning bottom trawling in their waters. Trawling – the practice of dragging large nets to dredge the water and sea bed, resulting in very high levels of unwanted bycatch and habitat destruction – has long been identified as one of the most harmful industrial fishing practices...More>>
2014 IGFA Conservation Award Winners Announced
IGFA Conservation Awards
  Sportsmanship and conservation go hand in hand – anglers who hope for more and bigger fish tomorrow invariably understand the need to release catches they make today. Since 1993, the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) has been recognizing superlative achievements in fishing conservation with the annual IGFA Conservation Awards...More>>
Call to Action: Sign the Petition to Protect Bluefin Tuna
bluefin tuna
  Recreational anglers can help end the waste of bluefin tuna in the U.S. and ensure that surface longliners – not sportsmen – are held accountable for incidental bycatch. The International Game Fish Association has sponsored an online petition and is asking for anglers to sign on...More>>
Sen. Vitter Draws Line for Red Snapper Allocation
red snapper
  Senator David Vitter (R-La.) announced yesterday that he would “hold” the nominee to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) until he received a commitment that NOAA Fisheries would address the ongoing failure of the Agency to implement its own allocation policies and to provide some leadership and direction to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council...More>>
Massive Population Decline in European seabass
European seabass
  An assessment by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) has revealed that European seabass (Dicentrarcus labrax) have suffered a massive population decline in the Northeast Atlantic, reaching their lowest point in two decades. With a drop of more than 20%, the crash is not only a concern to the commercial fishery, but also to the recreational fishing community that considers the species to be a prize catch...More>>
Billfish Conservation Act Closer to Complete Ban on US Mainland Billfish Sales
IGFA and Wild Oceans logos
  When the Billfish Conservation Act (BCA) was signed into US law nearly a year ago, conservationists worldwide cheered that the globe’s largest market for imported marlin, sailfish, and spearfish would soon be closed. Although the challenge of getting a bill passed through the legislative process was won, there is still work to be done to make sure the BCA will be properly enacted....More>>
  Change, transformation, and adaptation in recreational fisheries is the theme of the Seventh World Recreational Fishing Conference (WRFC), and the first call for papers is now open. Abstracts addressing any of the conference’s sub-themes may be submitted online for consideration for the September 2014 event...More>>
  The comment period for the National Marine Fisheries Service Advanced Notification of Proposed Rule Making for the implementation of the Billfish Conservation Act has closed. IGFA has submitted these comments to NMFS to reinforce that the intent of the Billfish Conservation Act was to close the continental U.S. to foreign-caught billfish as well as those caught in Hawaii and the Pacific peninsular region. Read full comments here >>
  Tournaments around the world are becoming increasingly concerned with conservation and ethical fishing practices. Every year, more events adopt catch-and-release formats and promote the use of circle hooks to support healthier fish releases. The Ernest Hemingway International Billfish Tournament is one of the latest...More>>
  Want the facts on Australia's marine parks and the proposed lock out zones for recreational anglers? Check out this new video from Keep Australia Fishing...More>>
  The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) will host an International Billfish Symposium at its headquarters in Dania Beach, Florida during August 2015.  The event will be co-chaired by Jason Schratwieser, Conservation Director for IGFA, and Dr. David Kerstetter, director of the Fisheries Research Laboratory at the Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center.....More>>
  The International Game Fish Association and Columbia University have partnered to develop a new application – called IGFACatchLog – that will allow anglers to contribute to fisheries data collection efforts using Apple’s iPhone. As they near completion of a pilot version of the App, the IGFA is offering anglers the opportunity to....More>>
  The International Game Fish Association has long supported closing the Gulf of Mexico to surface longlines. But in an uncommon collaboration, this position is gaining new momentum as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) prepares a new proposed regulation for the region as early as next month....More>>
  On March 19th and 20th, the IGFA hosted a workshop in conjunction with The Billfish Foundation on the preparation of a billfish management and conservation plan for the Western Central Atlantic. This meeting was a follow up to the workshop in...More>>
  IGFA President Rob Kramer and Conservation Director Jason Schratwieser are currently attending the 18th Special Meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) in Agadir, Morocco.  Billfish conservation measures are a hot topic this year, as the most recent stock assessments for blue and white marlin…More>>
  The first year of the IGFA Great Marlin Race (IGMR) has come to a close, with six tagging events helping to deploy 24 satellite tags in blue and black marlin in three oceans. A total of 12,070 nautical miles (nm) have thus far been tracked from the tags on these majestic game fish, but one tag…More>>
  On October 5, 2012, President Obama signed the Billfish Conservation Act into law, effectively banning the importation of all billfish into the continental United States. The signing marks the culmination of a united undertaking by a diverse coalition of angling and conservation organizations working in cooperation with a bipartisan…More>>
  After four years of work, recreational anglers and ocean conservationists can today celebrate a rare feat: the Billfish Conservation Act passed the Senate and is now headed to President Obama’s desk for his signature.  Very few bills have become law this Congress due to partisan disagreements, but the Billfish Conservation Act has been overwhelmingly supported…More>>
  Recreational anglers and ocean conservationists scored a big victory in Congress on Monday, September 10, 2012 as the Billfish Conservation Act passed overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives.  The bill still must pass the Senate where it has the support of both Florida Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio as well as David Vitter of Louisiana and…More>>
  With the passage of the Billfish Conservation Act in the Natural Resources Committee of the House of Representatives on August 1, 2012, the U.S. is close to taking a strong stand in the conservation of one of the ocean’s most magnificent apex predators. But there is more work to be done…More>>
  (Washington, D.C.) – Recreational anglers scored a big victory in Congress today as the Billfish Conservation Act advanced in the House of Representatives when it was unanimously approved by the Natural Resources Committee for future floor consideration. With only minor modifications, H.R. 2706, which was introduced by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.)…More>>
  The US National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is accepting public comments on Amendment 7 to the Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan regarding longlines and their impact on Atlantic bluefin tuna. We ask you to join the IGFA, the Center for Coastal Conservation, the Coastal Conservation Association…More>>
  The Australian Government is on the verge of locking all recreational anglers out of over 1.3 million square kilometres of Australia’s oceans for Marine Parks. These areas include internationally renowned iconic Game and Sport fishing locations such as Shark, Osprey, Marion and Kenn Reefs in the Coral Sea and…More>>
  The IGFA is developing a fish recognition app - allowing anglers to identify their catch with a click of the smartphone - but we need your help! In partnership with Columbia University, the IGFA is currently developing the first ever visual recognition app for fish for the iPhone.  This technology will assist…More>>
  Recreational anglers – whether weekend fishermen, world record hunters, or tournament competitors – are becoming increasingly conscious of the need to conserve the fish they love to pursue. As they call for more and better science to strengthen the health of fisheries the world over, they have also looked for ways…More>>
  Four hundred and nineteen nautical miles later, the fifth fish tagged during the inaugural IGFA Great Marlin Race (IGMR) has become the first fish to have a tag pop off. IGMR marlin number five, caught by angler Norman Pichardo during the San Juan International Billfish Tournament…More>>
  In 2007, the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), IGFA and other national and California sportfishing groups formed the Partnership for Sustainable Oceans (PSO) , and since that time ASA and other PSO members have been actively working to keep waters open in California as the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative…More>>
  (Dania Beach, FL) — Senator David Vitter (R-LA) and Congressman Jeff Miller (R-FL) teamed up Friday, August 29, 2011 with 11 additional Members of Congress to introduce bi-partisan legislation in the Senate and House—The Billfish Conservation Act of 2011—that will help restore billfish populations that are badly depleted by...More>>
  Canned tuna, tuna steaks, tuna sashimi – no matter how you eat it, tuna is one of the most popular choices for fish consumption. But a paper released earlier this month suggests that the high demand for some species of tuna is endangering their future. In a first-time collaboration between international…More>>
    (WASHINGTON, D.C.) –A bill introduced by Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) seeks to ensure that the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Marine Fisheries Service is required to set catch limits based on sound science. The bi-partisan legislation, known as the Fishery Science Improvement Act (FSIA), is endorsed by…More>>
  IGFA Conservation Director Jason Schratwieser recently attended the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Advisory Panel (AP) that was held in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA on April 5-7.  Overall, there were three major topics, all interrelated, that may affect recreational anglers. On April 1, 2011 NMFS announced…More>>
  Longline fishing in the Gulf of Mexico results in tremendous bycatch of imperiled billfish, bluefin tuna and other pelagic species. It is time we rethink how we commercially fish in this body of water. In Switching Gears: Surface Longlining in the Gulf of Mexico, produced by Pew Environment Group…More>>
  The United States National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has issued a proposed rule to require the use of “weak hooks” on pelagic longline vessels fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico is the only known spawning ground for critically imperiled western Atlantic bluefin tuna and large, reproductive…More>>