USA. Global billfish conservation competition critical to scientific research; now in 23rd year

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Every time they fish on three oceans, anglers, captains and mates worldwide --- the heart-and-soul of The Billfish Foundation’s (TBF) eminent conservation program committed to billfish tag and release -- are supplying valuable data, critical to science.

Globally since 1990 these anglers have helped marine researchers in learning the migratory habits and more of the world’s billfish species.

On Feb. 16, 46 winners of TBF’s 22nd year-long competition will be presented their 2011 International Tag & Release Awards at Miami’s Jungle Island Treetop Ballroom.       Sponsored by Bisbee's Black & Blue the awards are presented by King Sailfish Mounts, and include TBF partners American Custom Yachts, Costa and Dockwise Yacht Transport.

TBF’s Overall Tagging Winners for all species (blue marlin, black marlin, striped marlin, white marlin, sailfish and spearfish) included Gray Ingram, Jupiter, Fla., USA, repeating his title as TBF’s Overall Male Angler; as did Betsy Crudele, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., USA, as the Overall Lady Angler. Stephen Gegenheimer, Corsicana, Texas, USA, won the Overall Youth Angler and Fin Gaddy, Manteo, N.C., USA, won the Overall Captain.  

Ingram also received double honors repeating in the release category of the competition as the Overall Male Angler for all species. Lisa Everett, Nags Head, N.C., USA was the Overall Lady Angler; Tyler Sudbrink, Greensboro, N.C., USA, Overall Youth Angler and Brad Philipps, Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, repeated his title as the Overall Captain.

TBF’s Dir. of Science and Policy Peter Chaibongsai, said each year TBF members from more than 70 countries are invited to participate. The latest annual competition ran from Nov. 1, 2010 to Oct. 31, 2011 with “tagging data reports” and “release notification cards” generated from the temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, where a majority of the world’s billfish inhabit.

To be eligible to receive an award active TBF members must have tagged and/or released five or more of a species to qualify.  In addition, TBF’s Youth Program created in 2001, recognizes the conservation ethics and achievements of young anglers.  It includes a three fish minimum in three age groupings for both tag and release categories.

For more on TBF’s annual Tag & Release program please visit or call 954-938-0150 for Peter Chaibongsai (ext. 107), Elliott Stark (ext. 101), Deborah Cummings (ext. 106) or Andrew Cox (ext. 100).   

The Billfish Foundation

Tag & Release Award Winners - 2011 year

Tag Category Winners

Top Tagging Anglers Atlantic                                           BILLFISH               

Sam Jennings – Juno Beach, Fla, USA                             Blue Marlin                         

Betsy Crudele – Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., USA                      Sailfish                  

Richard Gudoian – Key Largo, Fla., USA                         Swordfish                                            

Victoria Roberts – Stevensville, Md., USA                     White Marlin                      

Top Tagging Captains Atlantic                                          BILLFISH               

Mike Lemon – Juno Beach, Fla., USA                              Blue Marlin                         

Fin Gaddy – Manteo, N.C., USA                                        Sailfish                  

Sean O’Connor – Key Largo, Fla., USA                            Swordfish                            

Fin Gaddy – Manteo, N.C., USA                                        White Marlin                      

Top Tag Anglers Pacific                                                      BILLFISH               

John Richardson – Bellville, Texas, USA                         Black Marlin                                                       

Saegusa Kumie – Yohohama, Japan                                Blue Marlin                         

Gray Ingram – Greensboro, N.C., USA                            Sailfish                  

Suzanne Gustavson – Kona, Hawaii, USA                       Spearfish                             

Martha MacNab – Balboa Island, Calif., USA  Striped Marlin                    

Top Tag Captains Pacific                                                    BILLFISH               

Adolfo Grajales – Bellville, Texas, USA                           Black Marlin                        

Gene Vander Hoek – Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, USA            Blue Marlin                         

Jimmy Kitchell - Galveston, Texas, USA                          Sailfish                  

Gene Vander Hoek – Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, USA            Spearfish                             

Antonio Romero Castro – Cabo San Lucas, MEX          Striped Marlin                     

Top Tag Anglers Indian                                                     BILLFISH               

Terence Farrell - Alyangula, Australia (tied)                 Sailfish

 Calvin Du Plessis --Dubai, United Arab Emirates                                                        

Top Tag Captains Indian                                                    BILLFISH               

Bernard Vale – Coral Bay, AUS                                        Black Marlin                        

Ross Newton – Broome, AUS                                           Blue Marlin                         

Ross Newton -- Broome, AUS (tied)                                Sailfish                  

Rolly Pierre -- Seychelles

Top Youth Tagging winners

Bo Ingram – Greensboro, N.C., USA                                               9 –10 winner                      

Riley Rogers – Bakerfield, Calif., USA                             11-12 winner

Bruce Marinis – Broome, AUS                                         13 –15 winner

Luke Motta – Lighthouse Point, Fla., USA                         runner-up

Wesley Davis – Malibu, Calif., USA                                    runner-up

Stephen Gegenheimer – Corsicana, Texas, USA          16-17     winner

Tyler Sudbrink – Greensboro, NC                                      runner-up

Overall Tagging Winners for all species                                                       

Gray Ingram – Jupiter, Fla., USA                                      Overall Angler    

Fin Gaddy – Manteo, N.C., USA                                        Overall Captain   

Betsy Crudele - Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., USA                       Overall Lady Angler           

Stephen Gegenheimer – Corsicana, Texas, USA          Overall Youth Angler                        

Release Category Winners

Top Release Anglers Atlantic                                           BILLFISH               

Andy Fanter -- Great Bend, Kansas, USA (tied)             Blue Marlin          

Tim Twiddy -- Glasgow, U.K.             

Paul Legnard        - Arnold, Md., USA                                             Sailfish                                  

Scott Cooper – Mobile, Ala., USA                                    Swordfish                            

Gray Ingram – Jupiter, Fla., USA                                      White Marlin                      

Top Release Captains Atlantic                                         BILLFISH               

Zak Conde – Cape Verde                                                  Blue Marlin                         

Fin Gaddy – Manteo, N.C., USA                                        Sailfish                                  

Russell Craft - Mobile, Ala., USA                                      Swordfish                            

Ronnie Fields – Lake Park, Fla., USA                               White Marlin                      

Top Release Anglers Pacific                                              BILLFISH               

Barry Alty - Gold Coast, Australia                                    Black Marlin                                                       

Gary Carter - Duluth, Ga., USA                                         Blue Marlin                         

Gray Ingram – Jupiter, Fla., USA                                      Sailfish                                  

Wayne Short        - Cornith, Texas, USA                                         Striped Marlin     

Jim Gigger - Keri Keri, New Zealand                                               Swordfish                                            

Top Release Captains Pacific                                            BILLFISH               

Wade Richardson - Bellville, Texas, USA                        Black Marlin                                        

Brad Philipps - Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala                   Blue Marlin                                         

Brad Philipps - Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala                   Sailfish                                  

Julio Castro - Cabo San Lucas, MEX                                 Striped Marlin     

John Gregory - Keri Keri, New Zealand                          Swordfish                             

Top Release Anglers Indian                                             BILLFISH                                              

Henry Riggs-Miller - Seychelles                                       Sailfish                                  

Top Release Captains Indian                                            BILLFISH                               

Rolly Pierre - Seychelles                                                   Sailfish                                  

Top Youth Release Anglers

Olivia Ingram – Greensboro, N.C., USA                          13-15 winner

Wes Davis – Malibu, Calif., USA                                          Runner-up

Tyler Sudbrink – Greensboro, N.C., USA                        16-17 winner

Overall Release Winners for all species                                       

Gray Ingram - Greensboro, N.C., USA                             Overall Angler    

Brad Philipps – Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala                  Overall Captain                   

Lisa Everett - Nags Head, N.C., USA                                 Overall Lady Angler                          

Tyler Sudbrink – Greensboro, N.C., USA                        Overall Youth Angler

Last Updated ( Thursday, 16 February 2012 )