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Costa Partners with The Billfish Foundation
Costa teams up with TBF
Established in 1990, The Billfish Foundation’s Tag and Release Program is the largest private billfish tagging database in the world, and is the cornerstone of TBF’s conservation and advocacy efforts.
With more than 200,000 tag and release reports, TBF receives over 15,000 tag and release records annually from across the globe, which provides vital information for billfish conservation. Tag data is studied to further understand billfish species growth rates, migratory patterns, habitat utilization, and post-release survival rates.
According to TBF, tag and release data also provides valuable information for stock assessments that are instrumental in a time when industrial longlines represent the largest source of marlin mortality. This data provides the groundwork for conservation minded policy, scientific advancement and gives insight into the demographics and socio-economic benefits generated from billfishing.
Costa’s support of TBF’s tag and release program allows the advocacy organization to continue its tagging education and outreach efforts within the angling community. Each tag costs approximately $3. TBF sells the tags close to cost to maximize distribution. Billfish tags and tagging equipment can be purchased at www.billfish.org.
“Costa has been a longstanding partner of The Billfish Foundation,” says Al Perkinson, vice president of marketing for Costa Sunglasses. “Support of tag and release programs, like TBF’s and others, allows for more fish species data collection, so we make more informed decisions in regards to sustainable sportfishing practices and policy.”
The Billfish Foundation sees Costa’s engagement with conservation as one of the many reasons for partnership.
“We’re proud to have Costa on board with our Tag and Release program because of their strong commitment to fish and ocean conservation, in addition to building the best performing sunglasses on the market,” says Ellen Peel, president of The Billfish Foundation.
Amanda Perryman, the Fishing Community Manager for Costa, says this partnership came from the notion that protecting our fisheries is not only for this generation, but the ones following.
“Costa has been a long-time supporter of the Billfish Foundation. We believe that it is very important to protect the environments and fisheries we love in order to ensure that they will be around for generations to come,” she says. “We feel that the key to sound fisheries policy is accurate data and The Billfish Foundation works incredibly hard to accumulate and process that data. Their research efforts are essential in the protection of Billfish Fisheries worldwide. The tagging program is a wonderful way for anglers to get involved and was a natural fit for us to support.”
Costa will support this initiative in many ways, one of the biggest is through Costa Greekfest at the University of Alabama.
“The event raises funds for organizations of the students’ choice. Each year for the past 6 years, the UA students have chosen to donate the proceeds to The Billfish Foundation,” Perryman says. “The Greekfest takes place next week and is poised to be one of the biggest and most successful events yet. The UA students really get behind the cause and are proud to support the Billfish Foundation. We love seeing the students interested and involved in fishing as well as conservation.”
TBF’s Peter Chaibongsai hopes that the future of this partnership will continute to grow.
“We expect this relationship to continue to blossom and hope to get further support, so we can continue to receive vital data from the recreational fishing community from the our traditional tagging program,” he says. “A majority of what we know about billfish comes from tag and release programs like ours. With the support of our Tag & Release sponsors, we expect that TBF’s Tag & Release program will evolve and provide ways to continue to get the engage the public on how they can be involved in billfish conservation.”
Anglers can learn the proper tag and release technique on The Billfish Foundation’s website at http://www.billfish.org/research/tag-and-release/ as well as on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/FishTBF. Instructions are available in English and Spanish.