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Mohammedia Morocco 2013

A white marlin jumps during the Mohammedia, Morocco IGMR 2013 event

Preparing to tag the first white marlin at the Mohammedia Blue & White Billfish Tournament in Casablanca, Morocco.

Mohammedia, Morocco 2013 Race Complete

MARCH 2014 -- On March 8, 2014, the final tag in the Mohammedia, Morocco 2013 IGMR surfaced to win the race after remaining on Fish 1 for the full programmed duration of 180 days! The tag reported about 100 miles off southern Senegal, at a distance of 1,412 nautical miles (nm) from where it was deployed. Congratulations to IGFA Representative Fouad Sahiaoui for sponsoring the winning tag, which was placed on a 32 kg (70 lb) white marlin caught by Christian Galtier!

Coming in a close second place was fish 5, a 34 kg (75 lb) white marlin that swam a total distance of 1,336 nm in 103 days. The fish was caught by Brahim El Ouafi and tagged by Fouad Sahiaoui. The tag, sponsored by Mohammed Filali, Karim Bensoltana, and Hakim Moncef, surfaced on January 23, 2014 just off the Cape Verde Islands.

Brahim El Ouafi sponsored the tag that Fouad Sahiaoui placed on Fish 4 after he reeled in a 37 kg (82 lb) white marlin on October 12, 2013. After 32 days, the tag reported that the fish swam a point to point distance of 982 nm, third place in the race. On the same day, the tag on Fish 3 surfaced 691 nm after 30 days on a 32 kg (70 lb) white marlin caught by angler Yann Renault, earning sponsor Roger Sahyoun a fourth-place finish.

Fifth place belongs to the largest white marlin tagged in the race, Fish 6. This 42 kg (93 lb) fish swam a point to point distance of 480 nm in 43 days. The tag, sponsored by Mohammed Rayad, was reeled in and deployed by Fouad Sahiaoui. Finally, the tag on Fish 2, a 34 kg (75 lb) white, was sponsored by Laurent Sahyoun and reported 22 nm after just 11 days at large.

The Morocco tagging event not only added a new species to the research project, but with a combined total of 4,923 nautical miles, has also generated the second most distance tracked thus far in the 2013-2014 IGMR Race season. Thanks again to IGFA Representative Fouad Sahiaoui for making the IGFA Great Marlin Race happen in Morocco.  It will be a few more weeks until the data are assembled and available to the public, and we are very excited to add these white marlin data to the growing body of data being generated by the IGMR.

Mohammedia, Morocco 2013 Race Update

DECEMBER 2013 -- The Mohammedia Blue and White Billfish Tournament took place on September 8-13, 2013 and a total of seven miniPAT satellite tags were sponsored for the 2013 Mohammedia, Morocco 2013 IGMR. With a deployment duration of 180 days for each tag, we have reached the approximate half way point for this race!  Here is a rundown of all the tags that were deployed.

During the second day of the tournament, on September 9, 2013, IGFA Conservation Director Jason Schratwieser placed the first tag of the race on a 32 kg (70 lb) white marlin that fought for 15 minutes with angler Christian Galtier aboard Gladius.

The second tag deployed in the race was sponsored by Laurent Sahyoun and sent off September 11, 2013 on a 34 kg (75 lb) white marlin, from Gladius.

The third satellite tag, sponsored by Roger Sayhoun, was deployed the following morning of September 12, 2013 on a 32 kg (70 lb) white marlin after a 15 minute fight with angler Yann Renault aboard Gladius.

Brahim El Ouafi sponsored the fourth satellite tag in the race and one month later, on October 12, 2013, Fouad Sahiaoui placed the tag on a 37 kg (82 lb) white marlin that he caught after a 25 minute fight aboard Gladius. In the same afternoon and on the same boat, Fouad placed another tag, the fifth tag in the race, on a 34 kg (75 lb) white marlin, which put up a 20 minute bout with angler Brahim El Ouafi. This tag was generously co-sponsored by Mohammed Filali, Karim Bensoltana, and Hakim Moncef. Roughly an hour later, Fouad caught and placed the sixth tag in the race, sponsored by Mohammed Rayad, on a 42 kg (93 lb) white marlin.

The seventh satellite tag has yet to be deployed and therefore will not be eligible for the 2013 Mohammedia, Morocco IGMR. However, the tag is eligible for the overall race which includes all tags deployed in the 2013-2014 race year. Currently, we are approximately halfway through this race period and while four tags have surfaced, we are patiently awaiting the news of two more tags.

The first tag to surface was from Fish 2 and reported 22 nautical miles (nm) after 11 days at large. Although it is often difficult to keep tags on marlin for the full deployment period, 11 days is a very short time and we are hoping to learn more information about the tag when the data is fully analyzed by our partners at Stanford University. After one month on the white marlin, the tag from Fish 3 next reported a distance of 691 nm - which is quite a far distance to swim in 30 days! Although Brahim El Ouafi’s tag only stayed on Fish 4 for two more days than Fish 3, Fish 4 reported a distance of 982 nm and is currently the front runner in the race! The tag from fish 6 surfaced 480 nm after being 43 days at large. The remaining two tags are due up in March and April, and we are excited to see how far these marlin will swim! We will be sending periodic updates as more tags report.  Keep checking the IGMR website for the most up to date news.

Mohammedia, Morocco 2013 Race Start

SEPTEMBER 17, 2013 -- White marlin have officially joined the IGFA Great Marlin Race (IGMR) along with blue and black marlin and sailfish. At the request of IGFA Morocco representative Fouad Sahiaoui, IGFA Conservation Director Jason Schratwieser was invited to attend the Mohammedia Blue and White Billfish Tournament that was held September 8th -13th in Mohammedia, Morocco.

Thanks to the direction of Fouad Sahiaoui, seven Wildlife Computers mini Pop-up Archival Satellite Trasmitting (PAT) tags were sponsored for deployment during and after the tournament. Fourteen teams from countries ranging as far away as Russia, Senegal, Ivory Coast, France and Germany competed in four days of fishing to see who could catch and release the most white marlin.

During the tournament , three tags were deployed on white marlin over 60 pounds caught by teams from Morocco, France and Senegal. The remaining four tags are planned for deployment in the next several weeks. Each tag is programmed to stay on the fish for a period of 180 days, after which it pops off and floats to the surface where it will transmit the information it has collected to polar-orbiting satellites.

With their abundance in severe decline from decades of commercial overfishing, white marlin may be one of the world’s most imperiled species of billfish. Understanding more about their migration and vertical habitat patterns will hopefully give scientists and managers the information they need to better protect this important species.w far these marlin will swim.

IGMR Update: The IGFA Great Marlin Race Tracks 31,000 Miles!

In just two short years, the IGMR has deployed 81 tags on four species of billfish in 10 different countries. This impressive coverage of tags has recorded some 4,295 days of data and a total of 31,000 miles. This is a tremendous milestone in the realm of billfish satellite tagging. The IGFA and Stanford University would like to sincerely thank the tag sponsors, anglers and boat crews who have participated in this important research endeavor. To learn more about becoming a tag or IGMR event sponsor, contact IGFA Conservation Director Jason Schratwieser via [email protected] or IGFA Conservation Coordinator Leah Baumwell via [email protected].