I assume your are conservation minded when it comes to Marlin and that's great.
I have a story from years ago when they held the annual CCA sport fishing show on the base at Little Creek.
They had a seminar given on Marlin fishing by a local Hot shot charter captain and his mate. I sat for the tail end of the seminar and when it ended they were wrapping things up to leave and I asked the mate that if I went out on a charter with them could I keep a white marlin to eat, his reply was " oh no, we practice only catch and release, under NO circumstances would we allow you to bring one to the dock on our boat". Then two of his buddies walked up and he greeted them with "Man you guys should have stayed where we were yesterday, we ended up with 300lbs off that spot we were at" (tog). So I ask him what in the world would he do with that many Tog......Oh we fish for them commercial to sell em.
So much for them being conservationist.
I think the mate is a commercial hook and line fisherman to this day.
I think it's fair to say that it's legit feedback to express a conservation ethic and I'd like to see all bill fish released. Having said that and being a bil fish angler I will say that I have seen some blues dead at the boat. Not that we did not try every single thing possible to land it quickly and release them, but sometimes things happen and the fish dies. In that case we often send it back for food for the ocean. Hanging a bill fish at the dock outside of a tournament on the east coast is not something you see a lot and I'm not a big fan of it. Having said that I can understand why someone who visits the coast would want to have their picture taken with the fish, people dream of catching billfish much less a decent blue marlin.
I can not comment on this particular case of what happened and not sure any of us should jump to any conclusions since we do not really know what happened. If the fish died at the boat and the guys wanted to have their picture taken then it's understandable. I'd hope the fish was not sent to dumpster, but was fileted to feed someone.
Sometimes things on the internet can come across in ways we all do not intend. I think the message here is that we should be conservation minded when it comes to all fish and especially when it comes to billfish. It does not mean we can not keep fish to eat or anything like that, but rather to just have conservation and what messages our actions send to the broader public.
I think if we all take a deep breath we can see how hanging billfish at the dock outside of tournaments could start to set a negative example at some level. If we do not think with a little conservation in mind we are not going to have fish for the future and then we all loose the game, not something any of us want.
What makes a blue or white marlin any more important than any other fish in the ocean. I guarantee 90 % of the offshore anglers on this site have never caught or seen a bigeye or sword fish but they are killed pretty much everytime they are brought to the boat More than likely most have at least seen a blue or white marlin There are retenion limits on swordfish yft tunas bft blue fish striper ect but there are no retention limits for Atlantic sailfish, blue marlin and white marlin. The past few years we seen more white marlin in 1 day than tuna all summer (mid atlantic norfolk canyon area). I'm so sick of this PC elitist attitude that marlin are so special if you are truly concerned about conservation get on the horn and call your state and federal represeitives and have them shut down longlines and bottow trawls who do the lions share of destroying our fisheries. If a legally caught billfish is to be harvested enjoy your sushi, smoke marlin or however you want to eat it
There actually is a retention limit for marlins. It is 250 blue marlin, white marlin, roundscale spearfish combined total for the entire Atlantic per year. All longbill spearfish must be released. Each landed billfish must be reported. There are high minimum size limits that get people in trouble every year:
The fish yesterday was 568#,tailwrapped, and drug backwards for about an hour. As was the 350#er two weeks ago. They were dead at boatside. Neither captian wanted to kill the marlins, but it would be a waste to through them to the bottom so crabs can eat them. Both fish were cleaned properly and all meat was distributed amongst anyone who had use for it. None wasted. They die sometimes. It happens. Its much better to see the fish get put to use in some way than to have it mud darted. It is also legal. Killing one for the sake of killing one is a waste, but it is completely legal to kill one and most of the same people crying about this blue marlin would be on the dock taking pictures and high fiving if it were a sword or a mako. If you dont like em dead and you see so many of them behind your boat, dont kill em and dont turn on the internet.
My feelings exactly. If the fish is legal, don't cry to the angler, go see PETA in Norfolk they will wipe your tears away. Once the quota is used, just like many other species like BFT, NMFS will shut it down then can't keep them. I'd rather see the quota used for rec fishing than tournament fishing anyways that way the average angler can enjoy the meat vice the elite tournament big boat fishing crowd that will probably give away the meat anyways.
Originally Posted by 31footer
Thanks for posting that information!
Thanks for the details.
While I think emotions sometimes run in the red on things like this I think the outcome here is a healthy discussion that raises awareness and educates those that might not know about this stuff.
I was out kayak fishing and saw em winching it in. I had to go over and take a look.. First time i have ever seen a billfish up close it really was a monster
I grew up reading stories of marlin fishing in Outdoor Life magazine. That and our trips to the outer banks every year since I was 5 were what fueled my initial enthusiasm for offshore fishing. I caught my first billfish in 1990, and released it and all others since. In three years as a full time mate in SC, I have released only one sailfish I thought didn't make it.
That being said, I wouldn't personally kill one regardless, but doesn't mean it's not ok given the law and our sport.
Brings to mind another post around conservation and poaching, where discussion centers on those with blatant disregard for the law and limits (boat and capt's name withheld). It's a valid question when you see a kill, but understand the circumstances and the boundaries that govern the ocean and rights of all fishermen.
Glad to hear the meat is being enjoyed.
Incidentally, if you want to know what marlin tastes like, go to Antigua. It's on the menu in most restaurants there alongside all the other fish.