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The IGMR Makes History

Luca BonfantiMed Spearfish Med Spearfish Tagged

The IGFA Great Marlin Race Pioneers Spearfish Tagging and Deploys Satellite Tags in Japan for the First Time

On July 15, 2015, IGFA Representative Luca Bonfanti was fishing with his wife about three miles from the coast of Porto Cervo in Sardinia Island, Italy when an estimated 15 kg (33 lb) Mediterranean spearfish (Tetrapturus belone) struck his lure! Luca said the spearfish "was quietly swimming along side of the boat" when he released the healthy fish with a mini pop-up archival satellite tag (miniPAT).

Just four months prior, past IGFA Chairman Packy Offield and son Chase Offield placed six miniPAT tags on shortbill spearfish (Tetrapturus angustirostris) while fishing together in Hawaii, USA. Not only do these events mark the first time spearfish have ever been added to the IGFA Great Marlin Race, but to our knowledge, this is the very first time satellite tags have ever been deployed in both species!

July 17-20, 2015 marked the debut of the IGMR in Japan during the Japan International Billfish Tournament where five miniPAT tags were generously sponsored by Packy Offield and the Japan Game Fish Association. Although typhoon Nangka severely affected the first few days of fishing, the final day of the tournament recorded 19 blue marlin, four of which were released with the satellite tags! We can't wait to see where these blue marlin will go.