Nick Mayer – TBF’s 2016 Artist of the Year

We at TBF are proud to present Nick Mayer as our 2016 Artist of the Year. This year marks The Billfish Foundation’s 30th Anniversary, so we wanted a unique work of art to commemorate this milestone. Nick’s beautiful painting, Billfish Slam is featured on the cover of this issue of Billfish. Members joining or renewing for $250 or more will receive a personally signed and numbered edition of Billfish Slam. Each print presented to TBF Chairman’s Club members will also include a beautiful hand-painted remarque.

The son of an artist and a biologist, Nick Mayer has the best of both worlds. He utilized undergraduate and graduate degrees in biology from Brown University as tools to study and help in the conservation of fish. He has done so as an artist, a teacher, a research biologist, and a fly fisherman.

While investigating the effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill on sockeye salmon, restoring spawning habitats for steelhead in the Columbia River, studying the nesting habits of sea turtles in Costa Rica, or fishing small streams in the Green Mountains for brook trout, Nick has kept detailed sketchbooks to later use as references in his watercolors.
Close encounters that include falling overboard off a commercial fishing vessel into the Bering Sea followed by a near float plane crash in Northern Labrador inspired Nick to pursue his true calling as an artist. His paintings are not just portraits of fish, they are windows into real experience—his experience.

His works have been exhibited in many esteemed galleries on both the East and West coasts. Nick completed two large outdoor murals; an underwater scene located in the center of Vergennes, Vermont and a privately commissioned creative depiction of the evolution of life. Nick completed the illustration of his first book, Catalina Dive Buddies, a coffee table art book and field guide to the fish of Catalina Island, California.

Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and raised in Riverside, Rhode Island, Nick now lives in Lincoln, Vermont with his wife and two sons where he works as a full time professional artist. Nick’s work can be viewed online at nickmayerart.com and Nick can be contacted by phone at 802.349.2733 or email: nickmayerart@gmail.com.

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30th Anniversary Year Dedicated to Today’s Youth

30th Anniversary Year Dedicated to Today’s Youth

…Our Legacy must be a Billfishing Future for Them!

TBF’s Herbert Nanne, Central American Conservation Director, worked tirelessly for three years to have the government of Costa Rica sign off on a law that ALLOWS minors to fish! Can you believe what you just read? Yes, it is true. Why such a nonsensical law was ever on the books is hard to imagine, but no longer.

The timing was perfect for it coincides with TBF’s 30th Anniversary year, which is dedicated to young anglers with a commitment from today’s adults to insure a billfishing future is available to them. We hope in Costa Rica there will be a move to take children fishing, even if from shore or a pier. Fortunately there is not such a restraint in most parts of the world, we just have to make good on our commitment to the legacy!

To build our legacy to insure billfishing opportunities are available in our children’s future, we must support conservation, responsible management, responsible fishing and including children in safe and fun fishing experiences. Supporting TBF is a great way to help insure that future, but it takes each individual who billfish to make a meaningful contribution to building the legacy in their region with children.

During 2016, TBF is featuring a variety of creative, fun and educational sessions at tournaments, classrooms, clubs, within the digital world and at TBF events to engage and inspire youthful members within our constituency. Stay tuned and be sure to check out TBF’s youth publications, Sailfish & Spearfish. Request copies at education@billfish.org or download online at www.billfish.org!

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A Snapshot Of The Billfish Foundation’s First 30 Years And Strategies For The Next 30!

If you fished offshore 30 years ago you likely remember seeing at tournaments billfish, especially blue marlin, stacked in piles on the docks after anglers posed for photos with their prized dead fish. That was the norm. At the same time, U.S. commercial fishing vessels brought billfish to the docks and sold them. Today the images are very different with release flags flying in most tournaments and U.S. commercial vessels fishing for Atlantic tunas prohibited from selling billfish.

Thanks to you – anglers, boat owners, captains and mates along with Win Rockefeller and  scientist Dr. Eric Prince – who recognized that such unchecked killing could not sustain the sport, a movement began that resulted in establishing The Billfish Foundation (TBF). The mission of the new organization was to advance billfish research, conservation and education and raise funds to support those activities. This was a billfish angler movement for it was you who recognized that billfish abundance was declining and the government was setting no priority for the species or for the sport of billfishing.

Launching into its mission, TBF’s first science investment was for billfish stock assessments, which is a sophisticated computer modeling method to calculate abundance in the water based on reported landings. Because billfish are highly migratory in nature, the investment was international for no nation, even though many benefitted from billfishing, had contributed funds to billfish research for the fish were of
no priority to them. Anglers recognized even with their improved fishing skills, equipment and more anglers fishing, their catch rates were declining and they feared billfish stocks were declining as well, which threatened their current and future fishing opportunities.

During the first Atlantic marlin stock assessment workshop it became apparent that a great deal more data was needed since most nations had not reported billfish landings. Fisheries that commercially targeted species generate a huge amount of data because the thousands of tons of fish landed are recorded when off loaded at the dock and then when sold. Purchasers of the dead fish are required to also track numbers. A great deal of landings data is available and used in the stock assessment of the commercially targeted species. But the billfish caught as bycatch in many nations’ commercial fleets are randomly recorded leaving their numbers under reported from that, again robbing billfish stock assessments of valuable data.

Recognizing that a great deal more billfish data was needed, TBF’s science and educational emphasis turned to constituents asking them to tag and collect recapture data. As anticipated, you responded by purchasing and using tags, and reporting recapture tag data when a tagged fish was caught or recaptured by another vessel. The resulting influx of more data provided most of what was known about billfish for decades. While tag and recapture data gathering increased, much more is needed for it takes thousands of tagged fish in the water for one to be recaptured and data reported. In more recent years, TBF added satellite tagging to its research tools, which gathers different types of data than traditional tags, but both are very important to continue.

TBF also broadened its scope of research by commissioning socio-economic studies to capture the economic impact data from angler expenditures while pursuing billfish. Again boat owners, anglers, captains and mates participated in the studies. The studies documented that individuals fishing for billfish spend a lot of money for the experience even when they release the fish. The studies also documented that many jobs were associated with billfishing in the area of sales and service of boats, gear, electronic equipment, apparel, etc.

Even when stock assessments documented some billfish stocks were overfished and overfishing was occurring, governments still did not give billfish priority consideration for conservation and management. More was needed. The science and socio-economic data had to be used to educate decision makers about what billfish conservation was lacking.

TBF also commissioned other types of research, as it continues to do today, which expanded the scientific knowledge base about billfish in the areas of genetics, age and growth, habitat use, post release mortality, identification of oxygen depleted zones, etc.

Because science and economics had not convinced decision makers to make needed conservation and management decisions for billfish, TBF added “advocacy” to its strategies. Advocacy gives billfish and the billfishing community a voice for change in fishery management, a voice that focuses on the conservation of billfish, their forage species and their ecosystems.

Strategies for The Next 30 Years:

TBF will continue to focus and invest in billfish science, economics and advocacy, with more emphasis placed on student angler education.

(1) 5,000 More Tags for 3% –
Increase traditional tagging by at least 5,000 tags a year until the recapture data rate rises from 2% to 3%, while this may not sound like a big deal, it is a very important step toward improving the data-dependent stock assessment process. If funding were made available by international regional management organizations or the U.S. government, distributing tags to commercial longline vessels to tag billfish could also lead to increasing recapture data. Some U.S. commercial vessels have turned in recapture data. A partnership of this type, at least with U.S. vessels, could be very productive.

(2) Student Anglers for Billfish –
Engage students and teachers directly in the use of TBF’s tag and recapture data for educational projects. Inform students that many academic disciplines can be applied to fishery management and conservation, including math, which is the bases for stock assessments, economics, biology, statistics, ecology, law, public policy,
art and more.

(3) Billfish International Network –
Anglers, boat owners, captains, mates, tournament directors, charter operations, clubs, tourism businesses and the recreational fishing and boating communities associated with billfishing worldwide have a vested interest in one another and in TBF’s successes. This network has supported TBF over the past 30 years during which a voice raised billfish and billfishing issues to prominence in most all fishery management arenas. Billfish and associated issues are now included on meeting agendas of managers and scientists around the world. To rise about the level of “making the agenda” to “driving change” in agendas requires a stronger and larger network around the world. Help TBF achieve this goal by signing up your club, tournament, charter operations, club, your sportfishing business and/or joining as an individual member.

(4) Billfish Science –
Invest in a variety of research including improving stock assessment methodologies, satellite tagging, age and growth, and research to learn more about the life history characteristics of billfish, their habitat and forage species and continue socio-economic surveys.

(5) Fishery Management –
Initiate changes in the fishery management paradigm so fish are not viewed and valued solely as a consumable commodity. Eco-tourism values should be given equal consideration as consumptive value. The health of forage species and ecosystems should be included, as well as, evaluation of fishing techniques as to their compatibility with sustaining healthy stocks of fish and ecosystem, and incorporation of economic return to communities for they are all important and should be in the management process in the U.S. and international fishery management arenas. Traditional methods need strengthening, especially reducing the international pelagic longline tonnage of billfish landed each year to levels that would allow sustaining healthy levels of abundance.

(6) 30 Year Investment Plan –
Grow an endowment fund that generates interests enough to support at least half of TBF’s research, education and advocacy costs within 20 years. To help reach this goal, TBF is establishing a 30 year endowment growth strategy that allows you to invest a tax deductible gift to return billfishing assets for your children and their children’s generations.

(7) 10 Members More for 30 –
Growing membership and dollars are core to TBF’s ability to meet the challenges of the next thirty years. Will you commit to bringing on board 10 new TBF members each year for 30 years and encourage them to renew and, in turn, bring on 10 new members as well each following year? In addition, membership will be further encouraged through new programs, including, but not limited to: My First Billfish & Grander and Growing Granders Release Clubs.

It goes without saying that success also requires expert financial and organizational management, which are taken very seriously at TBF. We know every cent that you give to TBF could be given to other non-profits and your gift is the result of hard work and sacrifice. It is our philosophy to direct the overwhelming majority of each dollar to programs for the fish and the oceans in ways to guarantee continued and future billfishing opportunities for you.

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Rum Bum Racing Fights to Fifth at Daytona International Speedway

Daytona Beach, Fla. (29 January 2016) – Rum Bum Racing returned to its home track of Daytona International Speedway firmly focused on a another big result at the “World Center of Racing.” The three-time Daytona winners wanted to open the 2016 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge championship with a big result once again on Friday.

With a strong record of success at the track, the team was well-prepared to take on the 3.56-mile road course and Hugh Plumb started from the pole position after posting the fastest time during a soggy qualifying session on Thursday.


The Orlando-based Rum Bum Racing squad appeared to be well on its way to a return trip to the podium after leading 22 laps of a race that opened with a frantic pace, but to the disappointment of the Rum Bum Racing fans on site and following at home,  a fuel delivery issue slowed the pace of the Porsche with the Plumb brothers fighting to hang on to a fifth place finish at the checkered flag.

“The start of the race went pretty well and I had a lot of pressure from the Mustang in the first 15 laps,” said HughPlumb, who battled for the lead with some breathtaking side battling against the eventual race winner.  “A little later on I got some pressure from the No. 33 Cayman. The crew just did an amazing job for us, great pit stops as usual. It was pretty hectic and there was a lot of pressure but the guys did a great job.”

The usual perfect pit stops by the Rum Bum Racing crew were on full display with the first stop coming with 1 hour and 25 minutes remaining in the race. Hugh Plumb pitted from second in the order to hand the car over to Matt Plumb who anchored the car to the finish.

When Matt Plumb took to the track he was in a continuous fight for the lead with the Mustang of Billy Johnson all the way up to the final pit stop of the race. Plumb took the car to pit lane for tires and fuel with just under 50 minutes to go and a brilliant stop by the Rum Bum crew saw the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche return six seconds ahead of the Mustang with the lead.

Unfortunately what was sure to be another intense battle all the way down to the checkered flag was never to be had as the fuel delivery issue hindered the Porsche’s pace, leaving Plumb to fight to hang on for fifth position through the final laps of the race.

“It’s a shame that we didn’t get that podium we were looking for today – Luis Bacardi assembles such a great group here in Rum Bum Racing and with the Bacardis and a whole crowd of Rum Bum supporters on hand here with us, we really wanted to give them a good result today,” said Matt Plumb. “As soon as I got in the car for my stint, I started to feel something a little off. It was a particular problem that we’ve never seen before. Billy (Johnson) and I had a great race. I could see he was faster, but I sure wasn’t not going to make it a bit of a show. Billy runs very hard and we’ve raced enough together to realize that when one car is a little better, we’re not going to take each other out. Congrats to him and his team, they deserved the win today.”

Rum Bum Racing next travels to Sebring International Raceway for Round 2 of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge March 17-18.

FOX Sports 1 will broadcast the Daytona event on Saturday, February 13 at 8:30 AM ET.

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TBF welcomes Marina Casa de Campo as a new Tag & Release Industry sponsor!

The Billfish Foundation (TBF) is extremely excited to announce and welcome aboard the Marina Casa de Campo as a new Tag & Release Industry sponsor. Located in the beautiful Dominican Republic, and conveniently close to La Romana International airport, the marina has every service needed for incoming ships and visitors offering a lifestyle of elegance, prestige, luxury, safety and warmth.

This location has a premier offshore bite, especially for blue marlin, where it is possible to encounter up to double digits in one day. The 2014 Fishing Season was a blast – closing with an average of 8 billfish released per day.  With the numbers of marlin seen, the marina clearly understands the importance of giving back to conservation efforts since a healthy sportfishery of billfish and other highly prized gamefish means more boats and clients!

TBF looks forward to working with Marina Casa de Campo in 2016 and for many years to come! To learn more about becoming a sponsor of The Billfish Foundation, please contact us via email or by phone (954) 938 0150.

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Rum Bum Racing Puts Porsche on Pole at Daytona

Defending race winners singing in the rain but ready for a dry race on Friday

Daytona Beach, Fla. (28 January 2016) – Shaking off the challenging weather conditions, Luis Bacardi’s Rum Bum Racing was right back up to its usual speed at its home track of Daytona International Speedway on Friday when Hugh Plumb put the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche 997 at the top of the time charts during a very rainy, wet IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge qualifying session on Thursday.

As the rain picked up and worsened through the 15-minutes of qualifying, Plumb improved his time with each lap around the 3.56-mile lap at the “World Center of Racing.”


His quickest time of 2:12.492-seconds was half of a second faster than the rest of the field. It marks Hugh’s second consecutive front row start at Daytona after he qualified second for Rum Bum Racing in last year’s race.

The run to the pole was all the more impressive for Hugh Plumb, who had never driven in the rain at the Daytona circuit prior to this year’s event.

“The conditions have been constantly changing through each practice because it’s been drying, then raining, then drying,” said Hugh Plumb after accepting the Total Pole Award. “In qualifying, it was pretty much a downpour so each corner was just adapting and reacting to what was potentially coming at you. You would just keep trying to go faster, step over the boundary and learn how far you could push it. Then, you’d get to the next corner and it’d be even wetter!”

Rum Bum Racing also scored the pole at Daytona in 2011 and went on to lead 28 laps en route to victory. 

“The Porsche is good here,” said Hugh Plumb. “We’ve had a set up we’ve used for the last few of our races here at Daytona and that’s always seemed to work well for us. Everybody at Rum Bum just does an incredible job and exactly what they have to do.”

The Daytona weekend featured an abundance of rain with the 3.56-mile Florida road course providing for some slick driving conditions through two practice sessions on Wednesday and a third practice on Thursday. With the Continental Tire rains adding strength to the Porsche machine, Hugh and co-driver Matt Plumb posted quick times throughout each session.

The brothers drove to the second quickest time in each of the three practice sessions.

“We’ve had a lot of time to prepare for these conditions and the car showed that it’s where it needed to be,” said Matt Plumb, who also serves as the Rum Bum Racing Team Manager. “Hugh did an amazing job. Each lap was faster than the next and he was consistently setting the bar higher and higher to the point where he did his fastest lap when the rain was coming down the hardest. He did a great job all last year and once again he’s showing he’s the man for the job.”

With the rain forecasted to move out and sunny skies predicted for Friday’s race, the event could well see very different racing conditions.

“The good and the bad for tomorrow is that we’ve been here before and we have a setup that works,” added Matt Plumb. “The bad is that we’re not quite sure where everybody else is pace wise (because of the rain), but that’s something we can’t control and we can’t worry about. We’ve just got to run our race and I’m very confident that everyone at Rum Bum Racing will do the great work that they always do.”

Since debuting in 2010, Rum Bum Racing has taken home three victories, four podiums, and five top-five results at Daytona. On a track that often features late-race lead changes, Rum Bum Racing  has shown strength from start to finish, having led laps in every race it has ever run at Daytona, for a total of 116 laps led and 31% of the time the car’s been competing on the Daytona circuit.

The 2.5-hour BMW Performance 200 goes green at 1:45 PM ET on Friday. Watch the race LIVE on IMSA.com.

FOX Sports 1 will televise the Daytona event on Saturday, February 13 at 8:30 AM ET.

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TBF welcomes IGFTO as a new Tag & Release Community sponsor!

The Billfish Foundation (TBF) is extremely excited to announce and welcome aboard the International Game Fish Tournament Observers (IGFTO) as a new Tag & Release Community sponsor. IGFTO’s team of highly trained observers authenticates the “Catch & Release” of billfish & game fish during big game fishing tournaments.  IGFTO supports tournaments that advocate the release and conservation of the billfish species and those programs who study and protect game fish, making this collaboration with TBF a natural choice. We look forward to working with you in 2016 and for many years to come!

TBF is looking forward to having IGFTO on board and excited for the future with all these great companies on board to support TBF’s Tag and Release Program! To learn more about becoming a sponsor of TBF, please contact us via email or by phone (954) 938 0150.

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Rum Bum Racing Returns to Daytona International Speedway for IMSA Season-Opener

Orlando, Fla. (25 January 2016) – There is no place like home, and for Rum Bum Racing, Daytona International Speedway is as close to home as you can get on the IMSA schedule.
For fans of Luis Bacardi’s Rum Bum Racing, it’ll be a familiar sight at Daytona International Speedway this weekend as the team looks to add to an already-incredible run of success at the World Center of Racing.

The opening round of the 2016 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge championship takes place at the Orlando-based team’s home track and the organization returns to race with the well-developed championship-winning No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche that the squad has utilized since it made its race-winning debut in 2012.


Also returning for 2016 are Rum Bum Racing drivers Matt and Hugh Plumb, as the fraternally-linked duo look to build on their run to second place in last year’s IMSA championship standings.

Not only is Daytona International Speedway Rum Bum Racing’s home track, the team has set a high bar for success at the 3.56-mile road course. Since debuting in 2010, Rum Bum Racing has taken home three victories, four podiums, and five top-five results at Daytona. On a track that often features late-race lead changes, Rum Bum Racing  has shown strength from start to finish, having led laps in every race it has ever run at Daytona, for a total of 116 laps led and 31% of the time the car’s been competing on the Daytona circuit.

“We are very excited to be back on the banks of Daytona, it is always a fan favorite and one we love to perform at,” said driver and Team Manager Matt Plumb. “We are also glad to be back with IMSA and to be working together with the organization to build this into the best championship season yet. IMSA has been there to host our finest moments and that has not been forgotten.”

Despite its relative age to the field, the No. 13 Porsche 997 looks to capitalize on the car’s “wisdom” to beat the competition.

“We are up against some very strong competition from the new Mustangs as well as the all-new Porsche GT4,” added Matt Plumb. “However, over the last four years we have consistently improved the handling and reliability to match some of the newer cars’ pace. Ultimately it comes down to team work. Rum Bum Racing has some of the best pit work and strategy which we will have to nail race after race and then it is up to Hugh (Plumb) and I to make it happen.”

Rum Bum Racing tested the No. 13 Porsche at the annual ‘Roar Before the 24’ test days at Daytona earlier this month to prepare for Friday’s endurance challenge.

The 2.5-hour race, which is held as part of the big 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona event, will take the green on Friday, January 29 at 1:45 PM ET. The event will be televised on FOX Sports 1 on February 13 at 8:30 AM ET.

You can watch the race LIVE on IMSA.com.

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2015 Tag & Release Winners

This year was truly a great year for the billfishing community and for TBF’s Tag & Release Program with more reports of tagged and released fish than in several years. Below are some of the top conservation-minded anglers, captains, and crews from around the world at the apex of this amazing sport. Congratulations to all the winners and we hope to see everyone at our awards ceremony, presented by Bisbee’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Fund, on Thursday, February 11, 2016 in the Treetop Ballroom at Jungle Island during the 2016 Miami International Boat Show. The evening will kick off at 6:00 PM with cocktails followed by the award presentation and dinner. Proceeds benefit TBF’s tag and release program. Get your tickets for the 2015 Tag & Release Award Ceremony here.

Every year, The Billfish Foundation (TBF) recognizes the captains, mates and anglers (including youth and ladies) who tag and release the most billfish in each of the world’s oceans. The competition is categorized by billfish species, ocean, and whether the fish were tagged or released untagged. Award winners are recognized at TBF’s Annual Tag & Release Awards Ceremony and held during the Miami International Boat Show presented by the TBF’s 2015 Tag and Release Sponsors: Bisbee’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Fund (our ceremony sponsor), Casa Vieja LodgeCosta SunglassesPELAGIC, King Sailfish Mounts, Yeti Coolers, and Garmin.

Please note that for all anglers, captains and mates to receive their awards they must be current TBF members. You can join or renew your memberships online.

Overall Release Awards

Top Overall Release Angler – Pat McCotter – Vandemere, NC USA

Top Overall Release Lady Angler – Tiffany Day – Kitty Hawk, NC USA

Top Overall Release Youth Angler – Brown Gaddy – Manteo, NC USA

Top Overall Release Captain – Brad Philipps – Guatemala City, Guatemala

 

Top Release Anglers – Atlantic Ocean 

Blue Marlin – Gray Ingram – Jupiter, FL USA

Sailfish – Brown Gaddy – Manteo, NC USA

White Marlin – Laurent Sahyoun – Mandelieu, France

 

Top Release Anglers – Indian Ocean

Black Marlin – Toby Mason – Dampier, Australia

Sailfish – Riley Smith – Exmouth, Australia

 

Top Release Anglers – Pacific Ocean

Black Marlin – Sharon Poulter – Smithfield, Australia

Blue Marlin – Pat McCotter – Vandemere, NC USA

Sailfish – Gray Ingram – Jupiter, FL USA

Striped Marlin – Jack Duvall – Kemah, TX USA

Swordfish – John Gregory – Kerikeri, New Zealand

 

Top Release Captains – Atlantic Ocean

Blue Marlin – Ronnie Fields – Lake Park, FL USA

Sailfish – Dean Panos – Pembroke Pines, FL USA

White Marlin – Christian Benazeth – Auch, France

 

Top Release Captains – Indian

Black Marlin – Eddy Lawler – Exmouth, Australia

Sailfish – Eddy Lawler – Exmouth, Australia

 

Top Release Captains – Pacific Ocean

Black Marlin – Paul Poulter – Smithfield, Australia

Blue Marlin – Pete Rae – Atlantic Beach, NC USA

Sailfish – Brad Philipps – Guatemala City, Guatemala

Striped Marlin – Eddy Cesena – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Swordfish – John Gregory – Keri Keri, New Zealand

 

Overall Tagging Winners 

Top Overall Tagging Angler – Laurent Sahyoun – Mandelieu, France

Top Overall Lady Tagging Angler – Laura Jessen – Sarasota, FL USA

Top Overall Youth Tagging Angler – Kaleb Richardson – Lafayette, LA USA

Top Overall Tagging Captain – Chris Sheeder – Palmetto Bay, FL USA

 

Top Tagging Anglers – Atlantic Ocean

Blue Marlin – Gray Ingram – Jupiter, FL USA

Sailfish – Charles Gaddy – Manteo, NC USA

Swordfish  – Richard Gudoian – Key Largo, FL USA

White Marlin – Laurent Sahyoun – Mandelieu, France

 

Top Tagging Anglers – Indian Ocean

Black Marlin * – Scott MacGowan – Baynton, Australia

Black Marlin * – Jo-Ann Riley – Baynton, Australia

Blue Marlin * – Marcus Longhurst – Broome, Australia

Blue Marlin * – Jo-Ann Riley – Baynton, Australia

Sailfish – Henry Riggs-Miller – Victoria, Seychelles

*  Denotes a tie.

 

Top Tagging Anglers – Pacific Ocean

Blue Marlin – Jada Holt – Kailua-Kona, HI USA

Sailfish – Chris Jessen – Sarasota, FL USA

Striped Marlin – Jack Duvall – Kemah, TX USA

 

Top Tagging Captains – Atlantic Ocean

Blue Marlin – Ronnie Fields – Lake Park, FL USA

Sailfish – Fin Gaddy – Manteo, NC USA

Swordfish – Sean O’Connor – Key Largo, FL USA

White Marlin – Christian Benazeth – Auch, France

 

Top Tagging Captains – Indian Ocean

Black Marlin – Eddy Lawler – Exmouth, Australia

Blue Marlin – Eddy Lawler – Exmouth, Australia

Sailfish – Jourdain Ellens – Broome, Australia

Striped Marlin – Eddy Lawler – Exmouth, Australia

 

Top Tagging Captains – Pacific Ocean

Black Marlin – Tim Richardson – Bangalow, Australia

Blue Marlin – Pete Wishney – San Clemente, CA USA

Sailfish – Chris Sheeder – Palmetto Bay, FL, USA

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

Striped Marlin – Jaime Gonzales – Cabo San Lucas, MX

 

Gulf of Mexico Marlin Tagging Competition

Top Overall Tagging Angler – Kaleb Richardson – Louisiana

Top Tagging Angler – Blue Marlin – Kaleb Richardson – Louisiana

Top Tagging Angler – White Marlin – Charles Cooke – Florida

Top Youth AnglerAge 13-15 – Kaleb Richardson – Louisiana

Top Lady Angler – Lisa Foster – Florida

Top Tagging Captain – White Marlin – Adam Ladnier – Mississippi

Top Tagging Captain – Blue Marlin – Capt. Max Morris – Louisiana

Top Tagging CaptainCapt. Myles Colley – Florida

Top Tagging BoatBorn2Run – Florida

Top Tagging Charter Captain – Blue Marlin – Capt. Woody Woods – Louisiana

Top Tagging Charter Captain – Capt. Woody Woods – Louisiana

Top Tagging Charter Boat – Clairabelle – Louisiana

 

South Florida Sailfish Circuit

Top Tagging Angler – Shawn MacMullin

Top Tagging Youth Angler  Ages 13-15 – Shawn MacMullin

Top Tagging Lady Angler – Dawn Samuels

Top Tagging Captain – Michael MacMullin

Top Tagging Pro Captain – Bouncer Smith

Top Release Angler –  Shawn MacMullin

Top Release Pro Angler – Eric Hull

Top Release Youth Angler AGES 13-15 – Shawn MacMullin

Top Release Pro Lady Angler – Cece Imbrie

Top Release Captain – Michael MacMullin

Top Release Pro Captain – Dean Panos

 

 

Youth Winners

Top Tagging

Ages 8 & Under – Charles Gaddy – Manteo, NC USA

Runner-Up –  Sebastian Ortiz-Stoessel – Miami, FL USA

Ages 11-12  – Aidan Burke – Los Angeles, CA USA

Runner-Up – Hefner Appling – Port Aransas, TX USA

Ages 13-15 – Kaleb Richardson – Lafayette, LA USA

 Runner-Up – Shawn MacMullin – Key Largo, FL USA

Ages 16-17 – Nick Brackmann – Huntington Beach, CA USA

 

Top Release

Ages 8 & Under – Brown Gaddy – Manteo, NC USA

Runner-Up – Charles Gaddy – Manteo, NC USA

Ages 9-10 – Diego Adkins – El Paso, TX USA

Runner-Up – Moira Brummell – Granger, IN USA

Ages 11-12 – Cameron Johnson – Davie, FL USA

Ages 13-15 – Jonathan Gaskill – Vandemere, NC USA

Runner-Up – Riley Smith – Exmouth, Australia

Ages 16-17 – Samuel Yohanan – Lighthouse Point, FL USA

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Rum Bum Racing Ready for the Roar Before the 24

Orlando, Fla. (6 January 2016) – The annual Roar Before the 24 test days at Daytona International Speedway kicks off the 2016 IMSA championship this weekend with three days of Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge testing. Rum Bum Racing driver and Team Manager Matt Plumb will be on hand to drive the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche at the ‘Roar’ in preparation for the 2016 season.

Luis Bacardi’s Rum Bum Racing returns to the World Center of Racing as the team prepares to defend its record of success at its home track. The Orlando-based squad has won the 2010, 2011, and 2015 editions of the Daytona event and has placed among the top-five in five of six races at the 3.56-mile circuit that utilizes the NASCAR oval as well as the infield road course.

“We’ll be out at Daytona this week kicking off the cob-webs so to speak after a few months off after last season,” said Plumb. “We had another great year last year and were in the championship hunt all year long. We love racing at Daytona and it will be exciting to be the first race held after the big Daytona Rising project when we come back here at the end of the month.”

The ‘Roar Before the 24’ features six practice sessions for the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge beginning on Friday.

The 2016 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season opens at Daytona International Speedway on January 29, 2016.

Follow @RumBumRacing on Twitter for updates!

Roar Before the 24 Test Schedule:

Friday, January 8
7:15 AM Drivers Meeting
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Session 1
1:45 PM – 2:45 PM Session 2

Saturday, January 9
11:05 AM – 12:05 PM Session 3
2:55 PM – 3:55 PM Session 4

Sunday, January 10
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Session 5
1:35 PM – 2:20 PM Session 6

The post Rum Bum Racing Ready for the Roar Before the 24 appeared first on Rum Bum Racing.

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Participation On The Rise

When the US was in the midst of a recession (2007 – 2009), TBF saw a significant reduction in tag and release reports, and it comes as no surprise; the price of fuel was at an all-time high during 2008 as well as many people redirecting their expenditures towards other hobbies. In the years following the start of the recession, TBF saw large fluctuations in the amount of data coming in, but overall, the numbers remained fairly low. Participation from the captains, anglers, and mates who have long supported our mission via the Tag & Release Program began to make a comeback in 2012, and really began to boom in 2014. We are so excited to see cards pouring in from around the world, and also to see so many fishing crews are utilizing the self-entry Tag & Release Online database (www.tagbillfish.org). If you haven’t already done so, please create a profile and test it out for yourself, but don’t get too comfortable because we are in the process of making the data entry even more streamlined. While you’re there generating your personal logbook, you can explore areas where fish have been caught around the world or look up marine weather wherever you plan to take your next trip.

Take a look, the numbers speak for themselves, participation is on the rise. Thanks to all of your efforts, we’re able to translate the valuable data we receive and utilize it to push for sound billfish conservation policy and advocate for angler rights and access. We know you’re going out fishing anyway, and you’re certainly not required to take the time out when things get crazy in the cockpit to tag a fish or write down the information necessary to report your releases. But the fact so many of you do take the time only goes to reinforce what we already know: our collective success can be attributed to this widely dispersed group of anglers, captains and crews, and the fervor and commitment with which specifically the billfish sportfishing community display to ensure a future for the species. We applaud you, and thank you for your continued support of TBF, because of which the 2014 Conservation Report will show numbers higher than the years before, and we hope this is a trend we will continue to enjoy for many years to come.

The post Participation On The Rise appeared first on The Billfish Foundation.

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Participation on the Rise

When the US was in the midst of a recession (2007 – 2009), TBF saw a significant reduction in tag and release reports, and it comes as no surprise; the price of fuel was at an all-time high during 2008 as well as many people redirecting their expenditures towards other hobbies. In the years following the start of the recession, TBF saw large fluctuations in the amount of data coming in, but overall, the numbers remained fairly low. Participation from the captains, anglers, and mates who have long supported our mission via the Tag & Release Program began to make a comeback in 2012, and really began to boom in 2014. We are so excited to see cards pouring in from around the world, and also to see so many fishing crews are utilizing the self-entry Tag & Release Online database (www.tagbillfish.org). If you haven’t already done so, please create a profile and test it out for yourself, but don’t get too comfortable because we are in the process of making the data entry even more streamlined. While you’re there generating your personal logbook, you can explore areas where fish have been caught around the world or look up marine weather wherever you plan to take your next trip.

Take a look, the numbers speak for themselves, participation is on the rise. Thanks to all of your efforts, we’re able to translate the valuable data we receive and utilize it to push for sound billfish conservation policy and advocate for angler rights and access. We know you’re going out fishing anyway, and you’re certainly not required to take the time out when things get crazy in the cockpit to tag a fish or write down the information necessary to report your releases. But the fact so many of you do take the time only goes to reinforce what we already know: our collective success can be attributed to this widely dispersed group of anglers, captains and crews, and the fervor and commitment with which specifically the billfish sportfishing community display to ensure a future for the species. We applaud you, and thank you for your continued support of TBF, because of which the 2014 Conservation Report will show numbers higher than the years before, and we hope this is a trend we will continue to enjoy for many years to come.

The post Participation on the Rise appeared first on The Billfish Foundation.

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Economic Impacts of For-Hire HMS Sector

In recent years, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has taken great steps to recognize the importance of recreational fishing across the nation and their research continues to reveal the substantial benefits that come from healthy recreational fisheries. Surveys conducted by NMFS in 2011 of private HMS angling permit holders revealed that anglers targeting HMS in particular make significant economic contributions because of the high costs of tackle, fuel, and boats required for offshore fishing. It was estimated that private HMS angling permit holders had an economic impact of USD $266 million. However, these estimates were only for private vessels in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic (Maine to North Carolina) region and previous studies on the for-hire sector have never looked specifically at for-hire HMS vessels. In 2013, NMFS followed up this study with further research to estimate the significant impacts of the for-hire sector for the entire East Coast and Gulf of Mexico.

Courtesy of Richard Gibson

From July to November of 2013 NMFS randomly selected Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat (CHB) owners from Maine to Texas to collect important data on expenses and earnings for HMS trips. The results showed that the average charter boat fares (6 anglers or fewer) were $2,450, $2,111, and $1,223 for the Northeast (ME-VA), Gulf of Mexico (FL-TX) and Southeast (NC-FL) regions respectively. In the Northeast close to 5,000 for-hire HMS trips were made and are estimated to have generated more than $12 million in direct expenditure, employed 460 people, and a total economic output of nearly $32 million. In the Southeast, roughly 3,000 HMS for-hire trips were taken that generated $3.67 million in direct expenditure, create 243 jobs and a total impact of $10.5 million. Within the Gulf of Mexico, 1,505 HMS for-hire trips were made that generated $3.17 million in direct expenditure, created 428 jobs and $8.8 million in total economic impacts.

In addition to asking about trip expenses on ice, bait, and fuel, the survey also asked CHB permit holders about fishing patterns, including species targeted, vessel characteristics, gear used, type of bait, and hook type used. Responses showed that 68% of for-hire trips target multiple species while 32% targeted only coast sharks. The survey also revealed important differences between charter boats and headboats (vessels chartered by 7 anglers or more). The most common species targeted by charter boats were yellowfin tuna, sailfish, marlin, and coastal sharks compared to headboats that more often targeted bigeye tuna, swordfish and coastal sharks in addition to yellowfin tuna.

In total, $19 million in direct expenditure of HMS for-hire trips generated approximately $51 million in economic output for coasts from Maine to Texas. These findings will greatly help represent the importance of HMS recreational fishing when evaluating future management actions and it should be noted that it was only possible by the participation of captains and anglers. This upcoming summer, NMFS will continue to gauge the impacts of recreational HMS fishing through surveying HMS tournament directors and participants. TBF strongly urges any boat owners, captains and tournament directors to take part and stress how vital studies like these are to ensuring the future of recreational HMS fishing. For further information or questions, please contact TBF Science & Policy Specialist, Michael Kelly at Michael_Kelly@billfish.org.

The post Economic Impacts of For-Hire HMS Sector appeared first on The Billfish Foundation.

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TBF Holiday Gift Guide!

‘Tis the season to think about special gifts for that special angler in your life. We hope you will take a look and enjoy some of the great gift ideas offered by TBF and affiliates. Bring a smile to the face of your loved ones face while supporting billfish conservation!


 

Most of these items are available for purchase at TBF’s online store and don’t forget to see all the other great items for sale there as well! For all other items not available TBF online store, click from the links below to purchase.

 

 

2016 Limited Edition TBF Fathom Offshore Lures Red Angel Wings – Click to purchase here

 

 

Dimensional, framed bathymetric charts carved in Baltic Birch Wood by The Giving Tree GALLERY – Click to purchase here

 

 

Tag & Recapture Trophies – Produced by King Sailfish Mounts – Click to purchase here

 

The post TBF Holiday Gift Guide! appeared first on The Billfish Foundation.

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Garmin Joins as Newest Tag & Release Program Sponsor

For more than 25 years, Garmin has pioneered new GPS navigation and wireless devices and applications that are designed for people who live an active lifestyle. Garmin serves five primary business units, including automotive, aviation, fitness, marine, and outdoor recreation. Garmin’s marine product portfolio includes some of the industry’s most sophisticated chartplotters and touchscreen multifunction displays, sonar technology, high-definition radar, autopilots, high-resolution mapping, sailing instrumentation and other products and services that are known for innovation, reliability and ease-of-use.

“Garmin is excited to partner with The Billfish Foundation as a Tag and Release sponsor. The Foundation’s conservation and advocacy efforts around the globe are invaluable, and its success is thanks in part to the dedicated anglers and captains that voluntarily tag, release, and report their billfish catches. The data collected from the Tag and Release program is vital to further understand the billfish species, and Garmin is proud to help support the efforts of the Foundation and participating anglers,” says David Dunn,Garmin Sr. Manager of Marine Sales.

TBF is looking forward to having Garmin on board and excited for the future with all these great companies on board to support TBF’s Tag and Release Program! To learn more about becoming a sponsor of TBF, please contact us via email or by phone (954) 938 0150.

The post Garmin Joins as Newest Tag & Release Program Sponsor appeared first on The Billfish Foundation.

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Garmin Joins as Newest Tag & Release Program Sponsor

For more than 25 years, Garmin has pioneered new GPS navigation and wireless devices and applications that are designed for people who live an active lifestyle. Garmin serves five primary business units, including automotive, aviation, fitness, marine, and outdoor recreation. Garmin’s marine product portfolio includes some of the industry’s most sophisticated chartplotters and touchscreen multifunction displays, sonar technology, high-definition radar, autopilots, high-resolution mapping, sailing instrumentation and other products and services that are known for innovation, reliability and ease-of-use.

“Garmin is excited to partner with The Billfish Foundation as a Tag and Release sponsor. The Foundation’s conservation and advocacy efforts around the globe are invaluable, and its success is thanks in part to the dedicated anglers and captains that voluntarily tag, release, and report their billfish catches. The data collected from the Tag and Release program is vital to further understand the billfish species, and Garmin is proud to help support the efforts of the Foundation and participating anglers,” says David Dunn,Garmin Sr. Manager of Marine Sales.

TBF is looking forward to having Garmin on board and excited for the future with all these great companies on board to support TBF’s Tag and Release Program! To learn more about becoming a sponsor of TBF, please contact us via email or by phone (954) 938 0150.

The post Garmin Joins as Newest Tag & Release Program Sponsor appeared first on The Billfish Foundation.

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Rum Bum Racing Exploring Options for 2016

Rum Bum Racing is looking forward to returning to IMSA competition in 2016. The team is now unveiling several exciting options to determine what the program will look like when the green flag flies at Daytona International Speedway next January, looking at both the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series.

With a committed team owner, a hall of fame crew chief, and a driver roster that is the envy of the paddock, Rum Bum Racing has been delivering results since day one. The two-time champions were once again in the thick of the championship battle all the way through the final moments of the 2015 Continental Tire Challenge season.

With 20 overall victories to its credit, the organization is now looking forward to the next chapter in its competition history, but the question has not yet been answered as to what book that chapter will be in.

With a range of new technical specifications, as well as some compelling new competition options, Rum Bum Racing has a lot of options to consider ahead of 2016.

“I am not sure we’ve had an off-season like this before,” said Matt Plumb, the winningest racer in the Continental Tire Challenge. “There are a lot of different things for us to sort out and we are getting close to where we need to be committed to what we are doing for 2016. We’ve got a great team, and are fortunate to have the facilities in place, so we just have to plug everything in and get going.”

After establishing a championship-winning legacy with BMW, the team made a shock switch to Porsche in 2012.

Having won the first time out in its first race with Porsche equipment and going on to power the iconic brand to two consecutive manufacturer titles, Rum Bum Racing’s success has quickly become synonymous with Porsche. That legacy is deepened by the history of Porsche success that stretches back decades for Joe Varde. Rum Bum Racing’s Florida-based crew chief has not only been crew chief for countless victories with Porsche, he’s also wheeled himself to victory lane all the way back to IMSA Firehawk competition in the Eighties.

The 2016 Continental Tire SportsCar Championship is expected to see the debut of the hugely anticipated Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport. The street GT4 refreshed the enthusiasm of the Porsche faithful with its light weight, added power, and exclusive availability in stick shift form, and was an instant sales success.

With the track-oriented offering boasting a global development cycle and support from Porsche Motorsport North America, the interest is clear for several including Rum Bum Racing management in this new offering.

But it isn’t just Porsche that might make sense for Rum Bum Racing, which has a 100-percent victory rate when joining up with a new manufacturer. The team was critical in helping BMW win the 2010 and 2011 IMSA Manufacturer Championships. In 2012, when the team moved to Porsche, once again Rum Bum helped that brand win the 2012 and 2013 Manufacturer titles.

Also to be thought through is the opportunity that the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship provides with the exciting all-new specifications for the GT Daytona (GTD) class, which will now run to a nearly full-specification global GT3 spec. The team is exploring options both for full season or Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup races.

The new regulations will see all-new designs from Lamborghini, Porsche, BMW, Audi, and others take their bragging rights to the track. Rum Bum Racing has previous experience in GTD competition at IMSA’s top level, having worked with both Audi Sport customer racing with the R8 in GRAND-AM, as well as with the Porsche 911 GT America package that the team debuted with a typically wild Rum Bum Racing livery at Sebring in 2014.

“GTD is going to be very compelling in 2016,” said Plumb. “Obviously there are a lot of great new entries, but the way IMSA is teaming with manufacturers to build the sport and grow the interest is something that hopefully bears fruit. We have experience at that level and it wouldn’t be that much of an adjustment for us, going to a Patrón (North American) Endurance Cup campaign or even a full season program if everything matched up well. There are a lot of options, but no matter what we do it will have the same level of professionalism and preparation that Mr. Bacardi has always insisted on, so we are eager to sort it out and get going.”

The post Rum Bum Racing Exploring Options for 2016 appeared first on Rum Bum Racing.

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Hemingway’s Havana Night Live Auction Items

Take a peek at some of the items we have in store for you to bid on for our live auction at our annual fundraiser, Hemingway’s Havana Night! Be sure to bid high, as all the proceeds go to billfish conservation!

For more information on the event and to purchase your tickets or table, click here.

The post Hemingway’s Havana Night Live Auction Items appeared first on The Billfish Foundation.

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Hemingway’s Havana Night Live Auction Items

Take a peek at some of the items we have in store for you to bid on for our live auction at our annual fundraiser, Hemingway’s Havana Night! Be sure to bid high, as all the proceeds go to billfish conservation!

For more information on the event and to purchase your tickets or table, click here.

The post Hemingway’s Havana Night Live Auction Items appeared first on The Billfish Foundation.

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Private Boats Can Travel Direct to Cuba – BUT Some Restrictions Apply

The Obama administration recently issued new rules that allow U.S. visitors going to Cuba to travel in their own boat, whether for hire or recreation, direct to Cuba.  Some requirements remain that you must satisfy before you set off, though the situation is changing all the time.  We will try to keep you up to date.  The National Marine Manufacturers Association in the U.S. has taken the lead in exploring options for the industry and boaters.

Two visa requirements should be considered for your boat trip to Cuba:

Traveler:

You still are not legally allowed to travel to Cuba as a tourist, so you must self-certify to obtain your travel authorization by selecting one of the 12 categories listed by the Treasury Department, U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control:

  1. Family visits
  2. Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations
  3. Journalistic activity
  4. Professional research and professional meetings
  5. Educational activities
  6. Religious activities
  7. Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions
  8. Support for the Cuban people
  9. Humanitarian projects
  10. Activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes
  11. Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials
  12. Certain export transactions that may be considered for authorization under existing regulations and guidelines.

For more information on traveling to Cuba please visit TBF’s website, billfish.org https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/policy-guidance/country-guidance/sanctioned-destinations/cuba

https://licensing.ofac.treas.gov/Apply/Introduction.aspx

http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&SID=9ae4a21068f2bd41d4a5aee843b63ef1&rgn=div5&view=text&node=15:2.1.3.4.25&idno=15#15:2.1.3.4.25.0.1.15

Vessel:

A license for your vessel from the Department of Commerce is still required though on a case by case basis, which surely will be standardized soon.

https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/forms-documents/doc_view/201-temporary-sojourn-license-applications-for-aircraft-and-vessels-to-cuba

You may find it very helpful to work with a leading travel agency that is working with the Marine Manufacturers Association to establish clarity with the vessel licensing.

Cuba Travel Services

Ms. Emily Sanchez

Emily@CubaTravelServices.com

1-562-366-1631

Fishing:

Remember a fishing license is a totally different issue that has to be obtained in Cuba.

TBF’s sportfishing contact in Cuba is Commodore Jose Escrich at the Hemingway Yacht Club, which hosts a billfish tournament each June.  With the dynamic changes taking place with the U.S. and Cuba allowing private U.S. vessels to travel direct to Cuba it is our understanding the Commodore has been swamped with requests, so patience will be required.  Hopefully, soon a standardized process will be established for U.S. anglers and made readily available.  Commodore Escrich, www.hemingwayyachtclub.org .

The post Private Boats Can Travel Direct to Cuba – BUT Some Restrictions Apply appeared first on The Billfish Foundation.

View Full Article

Private Boats Can Travel Direct to Cuba – BUT Some Restrictions Apply

The Obama administration recently issued new rules that allow U.S. visitors going to Cuba to travel in their own boat, whether for hire or recreation, direct to Cuba.  Some requirements remain that you must satisfy before you set off, though the situation is changing all the time.  We will try to keep you up to date.  The National Marine Manufacturers Association in the U.S. has taken the lead in exploring options for the industry and boaters.

Two visa requirements should be considered for your boat trip to Cuba:

Traveler:

You still are not legally allowed to travel to Cuba as a tourist, so you must self-certify to obtain your travel authorization by selecting one of the 12 categories listed by the Treasury Department, U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control:

  1. Family visits
  2. Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations
  3. Journalistic activity
  4. Professional research and professional meetings
  5. Educational activities
  6. Religious activities
  7. Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions
  8. Support for the Cuban people
  9. Humanitarian projects
  10. Activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes
  11. Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials
  12. Certain export transactions that may be considered for authorization under existing regulations and guidelines.

For more information on traveling to Cuba please visit TBF’s website, billfish.org https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/policy-guidance/country-guidance/sanctioned-destinations/cuba

https://licensing.ofac.treas.gov/Apply/Introduction.aspx

http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&SID=9ae4a21068f2bd41d4a5aee843b63ef1&rgn=div5&view=text&node=15:2.1.3.4.25&idno=15#15:2.1.3.4.25.0.1.15

Vessel:

A license for your vessel from the Department of Commerce is still required though on a case by case basis, which surely will be standardized soon.

https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/forms-documents/doc_view/201-temporary-sojourn-license-applications-for-aircraft-and-vessels-to-cuba

You may find it very helpful to work with a leading travel agency that is working with the Marine Manufacturers Association to establish clarity with the vessel licensing.

Cuba Travel Services

Ms. Emily Sanchez

Emily@CubaTravelServices.com

1-562-366-1631

Fishing:

Remember a fishing license is a totally different issue that has to be obtained in Cuba.

TBF’s sportfishing contact in Cuba is Commodore Jose Escrich at the Hemingway Yacht Club, which hosts a billfish tournament each June.  With the dynamic changes taking place with the U.S. and Cuba allowing private U.S. vessels to travel direct to Cuba it is our understanding the Commodore has been swamped with requests, so patience will be required.  Hopefully, soon a standardized process will be established for U.S. anglers and made readily available.  Commodore Escrich, www.hemingwayyachtclub.org .

The post Private Boats Can Travel Direct to Cuba – BUT Some Restrictions Apply appeared first on The Billfish Foundation.

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Credible Scientists Take On Sensationalists

It comes as good news to learn of CFOOD, a group of well respected scientists that came together “out of frustration with erroneous stories about fisheries sustainability” to “set the record straight.” Even though many sensational claims about the status of fish have been discredited, they continue to appear in the press as factual. CFOOD’s mission is to identify such reports or claims and provide a quick science-based response. How refreshing it is to know this group of scientists are organized to assess and respond at a time when extreme environmental organizations bombard the public and decision makers with reports that all is doomed and calling, in the case of marine fish, for waters to be closed to all fishing. CFOOD first took on the World Wildlife Foundation’s (WWF) recently released Living Blue Planet Report that asserts the populations of tunas, mackerels and bonitos declined by 74% between 1970 through 2010. After reviewing published scientific stock assessment results from the international tuna regional fisheries management organizations and other science-based entities, the WWF claim was refuted.

CFOOD reported that “the adult biomass of 26 populations of tunas, mackerels and Spanish mackerels had declined by 52% between 1954 and 2006.” The expert then pointed out WWF used its own database, the Living Planet Index (LPI), which allows anyone to submit data through a portal. A stark contrast was that the LPI did not include data from a single stock assessment conducted by any tuna regional fisheries management organizations. CFOOD also reported problems with how WWF used other data resources.

On its website, CFOOD has “Myths” posted, including a claim made in a 2006 that “All Fish Stocks Will Collapse by 2048”, which got coverage on the front pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post newspapers. Scientific evidence debunking the 2006 myth is also posted, which found that “on average fish stocks where abundance was available were not decline, but increases and declines were roughly equal.” We at TBF welcome the presence and actions of CFOOD to help counter sensational claims threatening to cause decision makers or members of the public to overreact.

The post Credible Scientists Take On Sensationalists appeared first on The Billfish Foundation.

View Full Article

Credible Scientists Take On Sensationalists

It comes as good news to learn of CFOOD, a group of well respected scientists that came together “out of frustration with erroneous stories about fisheries sustainability” to “set the record straight.” Even though many sensational claims about the status of fish have been discredited, they continue to appear in the press as factual. CFOOD’s mission is to identify such reports or claims and provide a quick science-based response. How refreshing it is to know this group of scientists are organized to assess and respond at a time when extreme environmental organizations bombard the public and decision makers with reports that all is doomed and calling, in the case of marine fish, for waters to be closed to all fishing. CFOOD first took on the World Wildlife Foundation’s (WWF) recently released Living Blue Planet Report that asserts the populations of tunas, mackerels and bonitos declined by 74% between 1970 through 2010. After reviewing published scientific stock assessment results from the international tuna regional fisheries management organizations and other science-based entities, the WWF claim was refuted.

CFOOD reported that “the adult biomass of 26 populations of tunas, mackerels and Spanish mackerels had declined by 52% between 1954 and 2006.” The expert then pointed out WWF used its own database, the Living Planet Index (LPI), which allows anyone to submit data through a portal. A stark contrast was that the LPI did not include data from a single stock assessment conducted by any tuna regional fisheries management organizations. CFOOD also reported problems with how WWF used other data resources.

On its website, CFOOD has “Myths” posted, including a claim made in a 2006 that “All Fish Stocks Will Collapse by 2048”, which got coverage on the front pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post newspapers. Scientific evidence debunking the 2006 myth is also posted, which found that “on average fish stocks where abundance was available were not decline, but increases and declines were roughly equal.” We at TBF welcome the presence and actions of CFOOD to help counter sensational claims threatening to cause decision makers or members of the public to overreact.

The post Credible Scientists Take On Sensationalists appeared first on The Billfish Foundation.

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YETI Cooler Joins as Newest Tag & Release Sponsor

The Billfish Foundation (TBF) is extremely excited to announce and welcome aboard YETI Coolers as a new Tag & Release Program sponsor. A leader in the outdoor recreational industry, YETI joins other top businesses in the sportfishing community as a Tag & Release sponsor including Costa Sunglasses, Pelagic Gear, King Sailfish Mounts, Casa Vieja Lodge, and Bisbee’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Fund. The passion and appreciation for the outdoors is something YETI founders, Roy and Ryan Seiders have incorporated into their company. YETI clearly understands the importance of giving back to conservation efforts and TBF is one of many conservation groups they support.

YETI Coolers revolutionized the way that outdoor enthusiast look at coolers. No expenses are spared in the design and construction of their high quality, roto-molded coolers.  The numerous features found on their coolers and durability makes YETI coolers extremely versatile with an almost endless number of uses.  The results of this are a bulletproof cooler that not only keeps ice for days, but now is considered an essential piece of equipment most anglers won’t leave the dock without.

TBF is looking forward to having YETI on board and excited for the future with all these great companies on board to support TBF’s Tag and Release Program! To learn more about becoming a sponsor of TBF, please contact us via email or by phone (954) 938 0150.

The post YETI Cooler Joins as Newest Tag & Release Sponsor appeared first on The Billfish Foundation.

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YETI Cooler Joins as Newest Tag & Release Sponsor

The Billfish Foundation (TBF) is extremely excited to announce and welcome aboard YETI Coolers as a new Tag & Release Program sponsor. A leader in the outdoor recreational industry, YETI joins other top businesses in the sportfishing community as a Tag & Release sponsor including Costa Sunglasses, Pelagic Gear, King Sailfish Mounts, Casa Vieja Lodge, and Bisbee’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Fund. The passion and appreciation for the outdoors is something YETI founders, Roy and Ryan Seiders have incorporated into their company. YETI clearly understands the importance of giving back to conservation efforts and TBF is one of many conservation groups they support.

YETI Coolers revolutionized the way that outdoor enthusiast look at coolers. No expenses are spared in the design and construction of their high quality, roto-molded coolers.  The numerous features found on their coolers and durability makes YETI coolers extremely versatile with an almost endless number of uses.  The results of this are a bulletproof cooler that not only keeps ice for days, but now is considered an essential piece of equipment most anglers won’t leave the dock without.

TBF is looking forward to having YETI on board and excited for the future with all these great companies on board to support TBF’s Tag and Release Program! To learn more about becoming a sponsor of TBF, please contact us via email or by phone (954) 938 0150.

The post YETI Cooler Joins as Newest Tag & Release Sponsor appeared first on The Billfish Foundation.

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Rum Bum Racing Secures Second in Championship at Road Atlanta

Braselton, Ga. (2 October 2015) – The 2015 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge championship staged its final race of the season at Road Atlanta on Friday and Rum Bum Racing and the team’s drivers Matt and Hugh Plumb secured second in both the team and drivers championships.

It capped off what has been an incredible season for the Florida-based Rum Bum Racing organization which won three races this year and claimed five podium results in 10 races. Hugh Plumb delivered several strong qualifying performances, earning a front row start five times.

Further solidifying how well the Rum Bum Racing team prepared for each race weekend, the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche completed 95.4% of race laps this year which added to its remarkable accomplishment of 91.4% laps completed since the team’s debut in 2010.

“This season we were one of the challengers, but at the same time, we were the underdog,”said Matt Plumb, who serves as Team Manager in addition to his driving duties. “I think there was a lot of pressure for the Stevenson guys to win this year and they did a good job winning it. It was our job to keep them honest and I think we did a good job of that. This is our car’s fourth year so for us to have ended its career and its life finishing just behind a factory team like Stevenson, it’s pretty monumental. It’s really a testament to this team and certainly the little engine that could.”

The season-finale Road Atlanta event brought heavy rain to the area, but with the weather radar showing that the rain would clear out during the race, Rum Bum Racing opted to start on slick Continental Tires. Unfortunately, the predicted weather did not come to fruition, and rain fell steadily as the race opened.

Qualifying had been rained out and the grid was set by championship point order which saw Hugh Plumb open from outside of the front row on the slick Continental Tires. But as the GS class field frontrunners all ran on rain tires in the opening laps on what had become a very slick track, Hugh Plumb slipped to sixth as he struggled to find grip as the leaders were able to lap the track several seconds faster than he was.

Following several long green flag runs accompanied by two caution periods, Matt Plumb took control of the No. 13 Porsche with just under an hour remaining.

Unfortunately, the poor weather conditions created a debilitating fogging situation on the windshield of the Porsche which left Plumb constantly using a squeegee on the inside of the windshield in addition to driving the car just to be able to see the track ahead.

The Rum Bum squad took advantage of a late-race caution with 30 minutes to go to bring the No. 13 Porsche to pit lane to clean the windshield and take on fresh Continental Tires. Plumb lined up 12th in the order on the final restart and despite the poor visibility, powered through to bring home ninth at the finish.

“For all the perfect days we’ve had as a team, sometimes days like this just happen in racing,” said Hugh Plumb. “The conditions were very bad out there. We had gone out in the rain earlier in the week and our car was great. The water was just not going away today, there were puddles everywhere and not only could we not see, our car just didn’t like it. The car was a little nervous. At the end of the day we got second in the championship and that’s something to be proud of. A huge thank you to everyone on this team that Luis Bacardi assembled to run this program on a job well done this year.”

Rum Bum Racing celebrated its season at the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Championship Banquet at Chateau Élan Winery & Resort Friday evening.

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Rum Bum Racing Aiming High at Road Atlanta

Orlando, Fla. (28 September 2015) – The 2015 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge will close out its 2015 season this Friday at Road Atlanta after a championship season that has stretched across North America.

For Luis Bacardi’s Rum Bum Racing, the goal remains the same as it has all year long as the squad targets victory in the 2015 season-finale race.

The Orlando, Florida-based team has delivered yet another strong season in GS class competition. The No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche has led over 150 laps in nine races this year with the brother driving duo of Matt and Hugh Plumb standing on the podium five times.


Three of those podiums came in the form of a win at Daytona International Speedway, Road America, and Virginia International Raceway. With three victories in the books, Rum Bum Racing would like nothing more than to close the season in the same way it opened it: on top with a win.

The 2.54-mile road course located outside of Atlanta is one that was added to the IMSA schedule in 2013. Rum Bum Racing scored the pole and finished 10th in that first visit and then followed that up with a run to third in last year’s season-ending race.

“We’ll go into this weekend and just to do the same job that we’ve always done,” said Team Manager and driver Matt Plumb. “And that’s to perform to the best of our ability. If we have a car to win, if we have the track that suits the Porsche, we’ll go for the win. If we’re a second place car, we still want to win. We’re always trying to push a little bit further than what our car is capable of. With the team that we have, with the pit stops that we have, it’s possible. Our guys are the best in the business and we want to finish out the season on a high note.”

Rum Bum Racing will take to the track on Tuesday for a promoter test day. Official practice begins with a 45-minute session on Wednesday afternoon and another 45-minute session Thursday morning. Qualifying goes green Thursday afternoon at 5:15 PM ET.

The 2.5-hour race will begin at 12:15 PM ET on Friday with LIVE coverage on IMSA.com.

FOX Sports 1 will televise the event on Sunday, October 18 at 9:00 AM ET.

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TUNE IN ALERT – Circuit of the Americas

Rum Bum Racing was back in action for the penultimate round of IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge competition at Circuit of the Americas last weekend. Tune in this Sunday, September 27 at 1:00 PM ET on FOX Sports 1.

BROADCAST: FOX Sports 1, 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, September 27

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Rum Bum Racing Snakebit in Texas

Austin, Texas (18 September 2015) – In racing, even when everything goes according to plan, the racing gods occasionally step in and tear up the script.

That was exactly the case on Friday for Rum Bum Racing after what looked to be a winning run came to a heartbreaking halt with less than an hour to go in the race. Despite great team execution and outstanding race pace, and even with a healthy contingent of supporters including Jennifer Bacardi’s sister Jill on hand from Wisconsin, the championship hopes were dashed after the car was not able to finish the race.

Hugh Plumb opened the race from the front row after qualifying the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche second on the grid for the fourth time this year. He wasted no time in taking over the race lead as he maneuvered the No. 13 Porsche past the pole-sitting Mustang on the very first lap and never looked back. He had put nearly a nine-second lead over the field when Crew Chief Joe Varde brought the car to pit lane just prior to a full course caution for a full service stop about 50 minutes in.

“The car really shines in this heat,” said Hugh Plumb of the run. “It was very consistent and getting out front early, getting in the fresh air, and having the battle being behind me is everything a driver can hope for so we got a bit of a good start.”

Matt Plumb took control of the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche and once the caution period ran its course and every car made a pit stop, Plumb found himself back at the front of the field as he led the group to the green. Matt Plumb focused on tire management as well as running consistent race laps as he pulled his leading margin to nearly a four-second advantage.

A second full course caution was displayed with about an hour remaining in the race and Varde made yet another brilliant strategy call to take on four tires and fuel. The other GS competitors each took just two tires which saw Plumb exit the pit lane fifth in line.

Following the restart with 50 minutes to run, Plumb make it look easy as he made his way through the V8s of the Camaros and Mustangs to run second in line and challenge for the race lead.

Unfortunately all that championship momentum and champagne potential came to a heart breaking halt as a fluke mechanical issue came to fruition when debris punctured the radiator and left Plumb stranded at the side of the track from second place.

The IMSA Radio commentators remarked on the heads up driving from Matt Plumb as he recognized the issue and pulled off to a safe area on track.

“First of all I’d like to say what a fantastic event this is at Circuit of the Americas,” said Team Manager and Driver Matt Plumb. “The fans here have been fantastic. We’re the team coming into this as the underdog with two races to go and 10 points back. We’re surrounded by factory teams, and we’re the independent team, the little team that could. But we like to be, because we’re pretty tough underdogs. Going into this weekend, the car was fast, the Rum Bum team as usual was on top of their game. We settled into a good pace and were just very consistent. Our strategy was playing out very well, we took four tires and everyone else took two. Everything was going to plan until something came out of left field and took us out of the race. It’s a bit of a mystery but something came through and poked a hole into the radiator. It’s unfortunate that all the preparation in the world can’t account for things like that. Extremely proud of this team, I want to thank the Bacardi family, Joe Varde, and everybody on this team. Congratulations to the No. 6 on their win today.”

The 2015 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge championship will commence at Road Atlanta in two weeks.

The Circuit of the Americas event will be televised on Sunday, September 27 at 1:30 PM ET.

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Fourth Front Row Start of the Year for Rum Bum Racing at Circuit of the Americas

Austin, Texas. (17 September 2015) – Luis Bacardi’s Rum Bum Racing got off to another fast start at Circuit of the Americas on Thursday as Hugh Plumb qualified the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche second on the grid for Friday’s 2.5-hour IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race. The result marked the fourth race of the 2015 season in which the Rum Bum Porsche has started from the front row.

Hugh Plumb, who shares the car with his brother Matt Plumb, put down a fast lap of 2:23.443-seconds around the 3.427-mile road course just outside of Austin, Texas. That was enough for second on the grid, just two tenths off of the pole setting time.


The Florida-based team is aiming to add a third consecutive victory to its tally after winning the two previous events of Road America and Virginia International Raceway. Rum Bum Racing sits just 10 points out of the championship lead heading into the final two rounds of competition at Circuit of the Americas and then Road Atlanta.

“As always, Rum Bum Racing gives me 100% and they gave me a great car today,” said Hugh Plumb. “It’s great to be at this famous track surrounded by so many passionate race fans. It’s going to be hot tomorrow and it’s going to be greasy. As always, we’ll do the best we can tomorrow to put some distance between us and the (championship leading) No. 6 car. With this kind of team behind me, I couldn’t ask for anything more. I can’t thank Luis Bacardi and the whole Bacardi family enough for giving me the incredible opportunity to race for the best in the business.”

With just two practice sessions ahead of Thursday’s 15-minute qualifying run, track time was limited and Rum Bum Racing worked to get the most out of its No. 13 Porsche machine. The squad was immediately quick as Matt Plumb went fastest in the first practice session on Wednesday afternoon. A second practice Thursday morning saw the No. 13 set the fourth quickest time.

The Circuit of the Americas race goes green at 12:40 PM local time (1:40 PM ET) on Friday with LIVE video streaming on IMSA.com. The race action can also be viewed on the IMSA app.

Follow @RumBumRacing on Twitter for LIVE race updates.

FOX Sports 1 will televise the event on Sunday, September 27 at 1:30 PM ET.

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