Guy Harvey Magazine

WIN-SPR 2018

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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Page 15 of 83

16 | Andy the Tiger Shark Sets Record If you've ever wondered why scientists are always poking tags into fish, here's a good story to explain it. It begins with Andy, a tiger shark that was tagged by teams from the Guy Harvey Research Institute and NOVA Southeastern University in Bermuda in 2014. They tagged Andy hoping to learn about his and other tiger shark migrations and travel patterns. Although tags can stop working or break off before scientists would like, Andy's tag has hung on tight and has been functioning perfectly for almost four years and nearly 40,000 miles. The data shows that he spent most of his time cruising up and down the East Coast and around Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos. "We are delighted with how long Andy has reported data, which has tremendous value for us as researchers," said Mahmood Shivji, PhD, the director of the GHRI. " This amazing track is revealing clear repeated patterns in the shark's migrations between summer and winter." According to a paper published in the recent ICES Journal of Marine Science, Shivji and his colleagues point out that tiger shark migrations are heavily influenced by a shark's physical characteristics (e.g., size, age) and environmental variations (e.g., water temperature, prey availability). This study reveals not only the environmental factors driving these migrations by tiger sharks, but also highlights how the different age groups behave. With the information gathered from Andy and other tiger sharks, fisheries managers are able to determine how best to protect this near-threatened species. And that's the overarching goal of tagging—to gather the data needed to make management rules based on accurate science. That's why more than 150 sharks, including tigers, makos and oceanic whitetips, have been tagged by the GHRI in the last decade. What's even cooler is that Andy and many other GHRI tagged sharks can be followed online in near real-time at Perhaps Dr. Guy Harvey says it best. " Tracking the migration patterns of sharks, like Andy, for extended periods of time allows us to better understand their behavior and habitat utilization, resulting in better knowledge on how to manage the species." The Fishing Olympics? Back when the Greeks organized the Olympics, they did what they knew— tossed discs, spears and lead balls as far as they could. Oh, and they ran around in circles. We still do all of that stuff but, as Bob Dylan said, the times they are a changin'. In fact, golf, ping pong and handball are recent additions to the Olympic games, with skateboarding, surfing and climbing coming on board in 2020. So why not fishing? Exactly. This is one of the reasons fishing groups from the U.S., Mexico and other Latin American countries gathered in Cancun last November for the inaugural assembly of the Pan American Sportfishing Delegation. The purpose of the group is to promote sportfishing as a competitive sport and share a unified front of fisheries conservation. The association strives to have sportfishing added to the Pan American Games and, with cooperation from European countries, the long-term goal is to make fishing an Olympic sport. The Federación Costarricense de Pesca (FECOP), a Costa Rica non-profit representing eight sportfishing associations as well as the National Fishing Club and the Club Amateur de Pesca, represented Costa Rica in the Pan American Delegation. FECOP has been a pioneer in marine conservation in Costa Rica and has stopped the exportation of sailfish, as well as sponsored and supplied the science to protect over 200,000 square kilometers of territorial water from tuna purse seine boats in 2014. A reduction of tuna licenses sold to foreign fleets (from 43 to 13) in 2017 saved 25 metric tons of marlin bycatch last year. "It is very exciting to be chosen to represent Costa Rica," said Carlos Cavero, president of FECOP. "We now have an open line of communication with other countries and will join the Americas in a single agency that represent sportfishing interests." Such as promoting fishing to the U.S. Olympic committee. In the meantime, as fishing waits to be recognized, four Pan American tournaments targeting different species of game fish are scheduled in 2018. A largemouth bass event will be held on Lake Okeechobee, Florida, snook in Tabasco, Mexico, and an offshore tournament at Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Guatemala was also suggested as a possible location for a snook event. Costa Rica will host the 2018 Pan American Assembly next November, followed by a three-day international roosterfish catch, tag and release tournament. Whether or not fishing becomes an Olympic sport is yet to be determined. But keep your hooks sharp and your line fresh, just in case.

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