West Marine Press Release
|HAWAII ANGLER’S BLUE MARLIN WINS GREAT MARLIN RACE 121 DAYS AND 2,188 MILES AFTER BEING TAGGED – West Marine BlueFuture™ Conservation Grant Supports Stanford Research|
WATSONVILLE, CA (January 24, 2012)
The third annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament’s Great Marlin Race was won by “West Marie,” a 170-pound Pacific blue marlin caught by angler Ed Abele and tagged by Marlin Parker on board his boat the Marlin Magic II. The electronic tag, sponsored through a West Marine BlueFuture™ Conservation Grant, was deployed on the marlin on August 8, 2011, off the Big Island’s West Coast. Stanford University marine biologists report that the tag was released from the marlin after 121 days, at a distance of 2,188 nautical miles from where it was tagged, south of the equator and about 700 miles east-northeast of the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia.
Of the 10 tags deployed as part of this event, 6 ultimately surfaced – all of them along a broad swath of ocean southeast of the Hawaiian Islands. In the 2010 race all but one of the marlin traveled mostly east from Hawaii, and no tags reported from the Southern Hemisphere.
“The variability in these tracks illustrates the importance of gathering data over several years to understand the broad migration patterns of these fish,” said Stanford University marine biologist Randy Kochevar.
The Great Marlin Race is a collaborative conservation research project involving Stanford University and the International Game Fish Association (IGFA). The Great Marlin Race concept was initially developed in 2009 to help celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament (HIBT). This tournament has a long-standing history of supporting innovative conservation research efforts, and was the site of some of the earliest tests of electronic tags on fish.
Over the first three years of the HIBT event, a total of 30 Pacific blue marlin have been tagged with electronic tags, and have produced 1,682 days of tracking data, with total point-to-point distances totaling more than 22,500 nautical miles. West Marine supports this effort as part of its ongoing ocean sustainability and conservation efforts.
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