When Winthrop P. Rockefeller, Don Tyson, Tim Choate and Dr. Eric Prince decided that something needed to be done to ensure that billfish stocks would survive for future generations, they immediately started working on two goals: getting anglers to consistently think about and practice tag-and-release and convincing billfish tournaments not to kill every fish. Over the past 25 years, the organization has made tremendous strides on both fronts.
It wasn’t until I went to Washington, D.C., with Ellen Peel that I saw how well our fish are represented — and how much they needed to be represented. The really impressive part was to witness the respect that TBF commands from their foes and how they lead the way in the meetings on Capitol Hill. In order for billfish to have a real voice in the confusing world of NMFS, ICCAT and other political arenas, TBF’s initial focus was on research and educational programs. In 1990, TBF expanded to include advocacy for responsible fisheries management. They recognized that influencing decision makers with sound science was a crucial step in successful billfish conservation.
Copyright © 2013 Marlin Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.