IGFA Assists in Billfish Genetic Research

In spite of their popularity with recreational anglers around the world, there is still quite a bit that we do not know about billfish biology and ecology. For example, the number and geographic location of billfish populations in an ocean is not fully known for striped marlin in the Indo-Pacific, and the situation is similar for the closely-related white marlin in the Atlantic.

Research by graduate student Nadya Mamoozadeh at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS; located in Gloucester Point, Virginia, USA) is focused on answering these population structure questions for striped marlin and white marlin, but help from anglers in a variety of geographic regions is necessary to complete the project. Nadya is using genetics to determine which groups of marlin have similar DNA and likely belong to the same population, and which groups of marlin are genetically different and likely reflect membership in different populations.

To help accomplish this important research, IGFA is helping Nadya obtain white marlin and striped marlin samples from multiple locations worldwide. Most recently, with the help of IGFA board member Pepe Anton, IGFA President Rob Kramer and IGFA Conservation Director traveled to Ecuador to collect fin clips from striped marlin.

A number of IGFA Representatives are helping Nadya collect samples from other locations such as Japan, Angola, the United States and Morocco. For more information about this project visit Nadya’s research homepage.


An average sized Ecuadorian striped marlin is quickly released after having a small fin clip taken for genetic research.  IGFA President Rob Kramer carefully places a fin clipping in alcohol to help preserve the sample until it can be studied.  IGFA Conservation Director Jason Schratweiser harvests DNA from the core of a commercially caught striped marlin.