Guy Harvey Magazine — Spring 2013

Page 1

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CONTENTS

SPRING 2013

A SWORDFISH TALE

20

28

A SWORDFISH TALE It’s great to celebrate success, but it’s better to learn from it.

34

20

TARPON TRACKS

In a follow-up to last issue’s Battle for the Silver King story about

Swordfsh are back in a big way, thanks to hard work and some real

tarpon pressure in Boca Grande Pass, Florida, we’re highlighting an

sacrifces, but the victory has left the U.S. commercial feet unable

ongoing DNA study by the State of Florida that’s uncovering some

to catch its full quota of the replenished stock. According to the

amazing things about how and when tarpon move. The best part is

author, that’s something we need to fx.

you can help.

BY DR. JOHN E. GRAVES

BY KEVIN BAXTER & KATHY GUINDON

BAHAMAS BATTLEGROUND The lionfsh invasion in the Caribbean and southeastern U.S. is well documented, but solutions have been slow to emerge. In the Bahamas, one man believes the best way to check this new predator is to put it on the hit list of commercial fshermen. BY JOSEPH IERNA, JR.

On the Cover: Guy Harvey’s stunning depiction of twin sailfish is titled Partners in Paradise.


PHOTO PORTFOLIO

36

DEPARTMENTS

12 14 16

36

Guy Harvey Guy gets behind a Caribbean-wide push for improved

64

Darwin’s Backyard A new GHO eco-resort is slated for the mother-of-all

conservation in the region’s most important habitats.

eco-destinations: the Galapagos Islands.

BY DR. GUY HARVEY

BY MARK ELLERT

Exclusive Content Online Our new website is full of new and exciting features.

68

Mako Madness New tracking studies show just how far and how fast

Use these QR codes to fnd some of our favorite parts

these torpedoes-with-teeth can move.

of GuyHarveyMagazine.com.

BY DR. MAHMOOD SHIVJI & DARYL CARSON

Top Talent This issue, we show support for budding fshery

70

Serious About Seafood Michael Howell is a son of a fsherman who found his

Einsteins, talk about the ultra-cool GHM concept boat,

calling in the kitchen. Recognized as one of Canada’s

rock out with Kenny Chesney and more.

best chefs, he’s big on sustainable seafood.

BY GHM STAFF

BY GHM STAFF

Jason Arnold Jason Arnold gives the star treatment to big-time game fsh and most anything else that swims.

74

Hooked on Smiles If there’s anything harder than landing a monster bonefsh on fy, it might be connecting with your teenager. BY FRED GARTH


CONTENTS

SPRING 2013

FAST & FURIOUS

46

DOCK BUZZ

Support for Slots We’re not talking about casino bicep-builders, but smart

50

50

FEATURE

Fast & Furious Better known for surf breaks and scuba thrills, Fiji also

fshing regulations. There’s a great case for using slot

boasts world-class sportfshing. The author and his crew

limits to build and maintain fsh stocks.

hooked up with one of the few established fshing outfts

BY GUEST EDITOR NICK HONACHEFSKY

in the islands and landed a spot in the record books. BY BILL BOYCE

48

BACKLASH

Eric Schwaab The process of creating fshing limits can seem murky at times and downright disconnected from

58

GEARHEADS

Bite. Camera. Action. Everything from pole-cams to troll-cams let the

reality at others. Here’s an insider’s view.

modern angler capture the big fght on video and

BY CA STAFF

create the ultimate fshing trophy. BY DARYL CARSON

Complete Angler (CA) is our “magazine within the magazine,” dedicated dedicated to hard-core fishing enthusiasts and & delivering delivering access access to to experts, experts, thethe latest in fishing latest in fishing gear, and gearthe and hottest the hottest fishingfishing spots spots on theon planet. the planet.



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Reef Road, Pensacola, Florida 32507. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Guy Harvey Magazine, PO Box 34075, Pensacola, Florida 32507. No part of this magazine can be reproduced without express written permission from Lost Key Publishing. Occasionally, we may make all or part of our subscriber list available to carefully screened companies that ofer products and/or services that may interest you.


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CONTRIBUTOR’S PROFILE BILL BOYCE Bill Boyce was born and raised in California and earned his B.S. degree in fsheries biology from Humboldt State University. He spent the next 16 years as a federal fsheries biologist. Four were spent working for the U.S. Forest Service in Tahoe, CA; Glenwood Springs, CO; Ketchikan, AK; and Mt. Hood, OR. For the remaining 12 years, Bill did ofshore pelagic work for the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission at Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla, CA. A love of travel and photography launched Boyce into a new career as a photographer and journalist, currently writing for six international publications. Involved in television productions for many years, as an executive producer and host, Boyce produced the award-winning TV series Angler’s Digest. The series became the highest awarded show on the Sportsman Channel in 2007, and won two TELLY Awards during its run on FOX Sports Net in 2008. The series still airs today, reaching 40 million households internationally.

JASON ARNOLD Jason Arnold is a third-generation commercial fsherman turned award-winning photographer. Arnold learned to respect marine wildlife at a very young age, and his passion for the sea continued as he spent his formative years as a professional surfer. The photos he took during his surfng career led him into commercial photography. After graduating from the Art Institute, Arnold began shooting professionally for the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and other professional sports leagues. In addition to action photography, he became wellknown for portraits of pro athletes and celebrities, including iconic images of Pit Bull, Lebron James, Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Phelps and many more. While the world of sports and celebrity photography was action-packed, Arnold never lost his attachment to the sea. He began shooting underwater images as a side project and it soon became his passion. Within six months, he was showcasing his photographs at Bass Pro Shop and in the top magazines in the fshing industry. Arnold’s underwater hobby has now become the successful Floridabased company Jason Arnold Underwater. His images are featured in top fshing and outdoors magazines and he shoots for companies such as Cressi Dive Gear, Invincible Boats, Berkeley, Eagle Claw, Okuma and Mercury Motors.



GUY TALK

CARIBBEAN CHALLENGE INITIATIVE 2013 In May 2013, many of the heads of government of numerous Caribbean nations

caused throughout the Caribbean so

will be meeting in the British Virgin Islands to enact a meaningful program of

protecting vital reefs is a critical part

increased conservation and protection for coral reefs and their inhabitants. The

of any plan. When I was snorkeling

Nature Conservancy is working with environmental advocate Sir Richard Branson

the shallow reefs in the Silver Bank

to achieve the Caribbean Challenge Initiative.

observing humpback whales, I did not

As far back as 2008, the Bahamas got with several other Caribbean countries

see a fsh over 12 inches long and we

and launched a region-wide campaign to protect the health of the Caribbean

were 90 miles from any land! Apparently,

lands and waters. These Caribbean nations have committed to protecting 20% of

commercial aquarium fshermen using

the coastal and shallow reef habitat by 2020 from commercial fshing that uses

liquid cyanide to stun the fsh has wiped

fsh traps, gill nets, bottom fshing and longline fshing. While we recreational

out the population and also decimated

fshermen have long promoted conservation through catch and release and only

reef growth.

keeping what we might want to eat, many of the commercial techniques result in

GUY HARVEY, PhD

Due to increased population and

is an internationally-acclaimed

consumers in the Cayman Islands the

artist, fsherman, scientist, and

Department of Environment has recently

world traveler, who devotes

funding. Without a source of dedicated, sustainable fnance, any park, no matter

proposed a further 20% expansion of

much of his time and money

what size or how visionary, and no matter how well meaning were the people who

existing marine parks if this country

toward ocean conservation.

created it…no enforcement means no protection, which translates into a waste of

wishes to maintain the health of coral

time and diminished resources.

reefs, mangroves and related fsheries. There are gaps in terms of enforcement as

excessive by-catch or reef damage that ultimately afects the entire eco-system. Of course, creating a cooperative of Caribbean nations raises the question of

Currently, where I live in the Cayman Islands, we already have 25% protection

only seven ofcers are responsible for covering the entire country, but proposed

for shallow reef areas out to the insular dropof that restricts commercial fshing.

new laws will address this issue included in the new National Conservation Law

We all know the damage that unregulated commercial fshing and poaching has

that will further protect reefs, fsh resources for sustainable recreational fshing,


diving and viewing opportunities in the long term. From the perspective of getting things done, the Cayman Islands model is now a template for other Caribbean countries. In addition to a well established marine park system, there has been in place since 1998 a system for collection of $4 per

species at certain times of year, such as snapper and grouper SPAG (Spawning Aggregation) sites, are perfect examples of efective management policies. As more of these sites are discovered by scientists, so the protection web will spread. In the United States, there are now slot sizes for many fsh species caught

person who visits the country. These funds remain in the Environmental Protection

commercially and recreationally (see article, Support for Slots, page 46). These

Fund, primarily aimed at purchasing land to maintain pristine habitats. Over many

are some of the sustainable practices that need to be adopted and enforced

years, these funds have grown to more than $40 million USD. However, due to the

throughout the Caribbean. Catching and releasing large breeders or implementing

complex fnancial climate in the Cayman Islands, very little of this money has been

slot sizes ensures that we’ll be able to keep a fsh or two for the grill without

spent on defending the environment!

depleting the resource. The value of sportfshing, particularly the catch and release

The consensus is for a commitment to develop sustainable fnancing for

type, is major and has become very popular through the Caribbean. Interactions

protected areas through the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund with pledges up to $40

with sharks, rays, wild dolphins and fsh are extremely popular and generate much

million USD, half of that originating from The Nature Conservancy. The Caribbean

needed foreign exchange for those countries that have adopted this form of

Challenge Initiative may result in a transformation of each country’s national park

ecotourism. These activities are sustainable because they are non-consumptive for

systems with the aim of tripling the amount of marine and coastal habitat currently

the most part. The value of a living game fsh, a living shark, living reefs and back

under protection from commercial fshing. Recreational anglers would have slot

reef areas as well as mangroves goes well beyond the socio-economic value of

sizes and other management to cope with that is currently standard practice in

these systems to respective islands and countries.

the USA. In the Cayman Islands, the Department of Environment, together with a host of

It is our collective responsibility to conserve the marine environment and maintain the biodiversity of the planet. I hope the governments of all Caribbean

visiting research scientists, has a great track record of undertaking the basic studies

nations have the fortitude to do the right thing and embrace the Caribbean

required before designating specifc areas as marine protected areas. Without this

Challenge Initiative.

scientifc data, it is pointless to enact closures. Time and area closures for specifc

Tight Lines! Guy Harvey PhD


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Conservation Shawn Heinrichs produces another amazing video, featuring Richard Branson



Photo: Danny Clinch.

Kenny Chesney will headline the Tortuga Music Festival on the sands of Ft. Lauderdale Beach, Florida, April 13-14. This multi-day, multi-genre music festival is the frst in a series of events presented by Rock the Ocean (RTO) and themed around marine conservation. It will raise money for conservation groups, including the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, and fans can earn VIP privileges on-site by helping to spread the word and raising funds for the cause. Privileges include VIP admission, front row seats, artist meet and greets, exclusive merchandise and much more. Donations can be made to RTO at every point of sale, and fans can use digital tools provided by RTO to engage their social networks for soliciting donations and raising awareness. RTO is a 501(c)3 non-proft (pending IRS approval) organization that teams up with high

Top Talent Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation and Florida Sea Grant team up to support the next generation of marine science superstars.

profle musical artists and entertainers to educate the public on marine conservation issues.

BY STACI BIONDINI

Founder Chris Stacey is an avid ocean lover, freediver and 20-year music industry veteran.

As any Fortune 500 company or successful sports

The Tortuga Music Festival will bring to life his vision for a music festival that celebrates the

franchise knows, recruiting top talent is essential to

conservation of the world’s oceans. In addition to the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, other

success. The same holds true for those with a passion

partners being supported include Nova Southeastern University, University of Miami’s RJ Dunlap

for marine conservation, which is why the Guy Harvey

Marine Conservation Program and The Ocean Conservancy.

scholarship award program is expanding and helping to

For more information, check out RocktheOcean.com. The Tortuga Music Festival will

foster the careers of a growing number of young, brilliant

feature Kenny Chesney, The Avett Brothers, Eli Young Band, Gary Clark, Jr., Michael Franti and

student scientists. Found on college campuses all across

Spearhead, G-Love & Special Sauce, Kip Moore, Gloriana, Sister Hazel and many other artists.

Florida, they represent the next generation of researchers


who will supply the knowledge that underpins successful ocean conservation eforts. The Guy Harvey scholarship award, jointly

cobia and mahi-mahi. “The Guy Harvey scholarship allowed me to purchase the equipment I needed to conduct my

administered by the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation

research,” said Bignami, who plans to dedicate much

and the Florida Sea Grant College Program,

of his career to sharing the results of his research

recognizes full-time undergraduate and graduate

with key decision-makers. “It also helped me present

students at Florida universities who are working to

my fndings at the 12th International Coral Reef

better our renewable and fnite marine resources

Symposium in Cairns, Australia, and at The Ocean

through science. They are students like Sean Bignami,

in a High CO2 World International Symposium in

a 2012 Guy Harvey scholar and Ph.D. student at

Monterey, California.”

the University of Miami. He is the frst researcher

Like Sean, many Guy Harvey scholars use their

attempting to quantify the efects of ocean

award monies to travel, report their research fndings

Left: Sean Bignami, 2012 Guy Harvey scholar from the

acidifcation on the larvae of two popular sport fsh,

and educate others. For example, the goal of 2012

University of Miami. Above: Felipe Carvalho, 2012 Guy

scholar and Brazilian native Felipe Carvalho’s research

Harvey scholar from UF. Photos: Florida Sea Grant.

is to train scientists and technicians to use remote sensing methods to track blue shark populations in

supporting students and common views about

the Atlantic Ocean.

having sustainable fsheries, so this partnership

Carvalho, a Ph.D. student at the University of

was a natural ft for our two programs,” said Havens.

Florida who has served six times as the Brazilian

“We both recognize there is a critical need to

national representative to ICAAT, the International

continually supply our workforce with highly trained

Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas,

professionals.”

said the scholarship helped cover his travel expenses

Since the scholarship program began in 2010,

to South Africa to promote a workshop on statistical

the Foundation has awarded a total of $44,000 to 10

analysis of fsheries data.

students from seven Florida universities. In 2013, up

“As a result of that trip, cooperation between

to seven additional $5,000 scholarships will be given

the South African department of fsheries and the

to outstanding Florida students identifed through a

University of Florida was strengthened, and the

competitive application process.

assessment of commercial fshing impacts on shark

“The program began with just two scholars, and

populations in the South Atlantic and Indian Ocean

each year the number of scholars and amount of

has been greatly improved,” he said.

money provided to scholars has grown,” said Havens.

The type of scientifc exploration and information

“It isn’t often that a scholarship program becomes

sharing exhibited in Bignami’s and Carvalho’s work is

so robust this quickly. Our students are doing a lot

what Florida Sea Grant Director Karl Havens and Guy

of great work and it will be interesting to see where

Harvey envisioned when they conceptualized the

their careers take them.”

scholarship over a lunch meeting in 2009. “Guy and I both have a strong interest in

Florida Sea Grant is a university-based partnership between the Florida Board of Education

From above left: Guy Harvey Scholars Christina Walker, UNF 2011; Mark Squitieri, USF 2011; Austin Todd, FSU 2010; Melinda Donnelly, UCF 2010; Chelsea Bennice, FAU 2011. Photos: Florida Sea Grant.


Guy Harvey scholar and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric

Sarah Stephens, UF 2012.

Administration that supports research and education to conserve coastal resources and enhance economic opportunities for Floridians. The 2013 Guy Harvey scholars will be announced in March on the Florida Sea Grant website. To catch up with the new recipients, fnd out more about past scholars, or learn about additional scholarship and fellowship opportunities for marine science students, visit the Florida Sea Grant page at FLSeaGrant.org/students/current-fellows.

GHM Concept Boat For 2013, Guy Harvey Magazine is assembling the ultimate fshing

machine—a 29-foot Ocean Runner center console. Wrapped head-to-toe in striking Guy Harvey art, it is being outftted with the latest in performance equipment, marine electronics, rods, reels, lures, lighting, coolers and more. The fnal product will be fully detailed for readers in the GHM summer issue and featured on the GHM website and Facebook page. For a hands-on experience, anglers in the Southeast will get to see the GHM concept boat at major boat shows and select tournaments during a year-long promotional tour. Following the tour, the boat will be sold to one lucky buyer, with proft from the sale going to support the Anglers Action Network and the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation.

Here are of some of the places you will find the boat on tour: Miami Billfsh Tournament . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . April 4–6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Miami, FL The Grove Slam Dolphin Tournament . . . . . . . . .May 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Miami, FL The Ultimate Shark Challenge . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 10–12. . . . . . . . . . Punta Gorda, FL World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament . . . . . . . . May 23–24. . . . . . . . . . Boca Grande, FL Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfsh Classic . . . . . . . June 10–15 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Biloxi, MS Key West Lobsterfest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . August 9–11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . Key West, FL Biloxi Seafood Festival. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . September 14–15 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Biloxi, MS Pensacola Seafood Festival . . . . . . . . . . . . . September 27–29 . . . . . . . . . Pensacola, FL Destin Seafood Festival. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .October 4–6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Destin, FL Gulf Shores Seafood Festival. . . . . . . . . . . . . October 10–13. . . . . . . . . Gulf Shores, AL


Hammerheads

Get your party on—Guy-style. Recently, the growing legion of GH fans has become so large and so passionate that a more formalized name and afliation seemed appropriate. In the tradition of Bufet’s “Parrotheads” and the Grateful Dead’s “Deadheads,” Guy’s fans have come to embrace the moniker “Hammerheads.” If you think all the buzz and general mayhem surrounding Guy Harvey, his art, and his dedication to fshing and the oceans is a good thing, then you’re a perfect candidate for joining the Hammerhead Nation. So, who exactly is a Hammerhead? Simply put, it’s any fan who has fully adopted the Guy Harvey lifestyle. Hammerheads share Guy’s passion for angling, diving, boating and travel—all balanced by a keen interest in conservation. A Hammerhead is any one of the thousands of fans that turn out for Guy’s signings, or the hundreds of thousands that connect with Guy via social media. A Hammerhead probably has a closet full of Guy’s iconic T-shirts, as well as a hat, belt and Tervis tumbler for keeping important beverages at an optimal temperature. And Hammerheads always thinks “Tight lines!” is an appropriate closing for any conversation. And, of course, they love Guy Harvey Magazine and guyharveymagazine.com. If that sounds like you, put down your GH tumbler and log onto guyharveymag.com/HammerHeadNation to fll out a simple form and you’re in! That’s it—no membership fees, no commitments. As a Hammerhead, you’ll be part of a passionate, active group of people who share your obsession with fshing, marine art and with conserving what’s important. You’ll also receive: • Monthly e-newsletter full of exclusive content • Special oòers and discounts from Guy Harvey licensees and partners • Access to contests and giveaways • Sneak previews of new merchandise and special edition gear • Special access to Guy Harvey at public signings Tight Lines!


Photo: Guy Harvey.


A SWORDFISH TALE

Swordŏsh are back from the brink, and there are critical lessons to learn from our success. BY DR. JOHN E. GRAVES

A few weeks ago, I went up to the seafood counter in my local grocery store and was excited to see fresh, North Atlantic swordfish displayed. I asked the lady behind the counter if she could tell me if the swordfish was caught by U.S. vessels. I was a little surprised when a gentleman on my left asked, “Is it okay to eat swordfish? I thought they were in trouble.” (This is a common misconception.) The simple answer is that, yes, it’s okay to eat swordfish. Regular Guy Harvey Magazine readers may recall that in the summer 2011 issue, North Atlantic swordfish was one of 10 recovered fisheries that Kevin Palmer featured in his article “Bright Spots In Our Seas.” In fact, the recovery of swordfish stocks is one of the great success stories of modern fisheries management, but there are some interesting twists to the tale.


One is that allowing swordfsh to recover required

of one or two countries. With a limited number of

about the levels of mercury in swordfsh virtually shut

a signifcant economic sacrifce by the U.S.

players, it is easier to develop an allocation scheme

down the U.S. market and, as a result, the Canadian

commercial swordfsh feet. And while that sacrifce

(sharing arrangement) for the resource and the

and U.S. swordfsh fsheries. It was only in 1978 when

was necessary—some might even say noble—it

timeline for a rebuilding program. However, for

the U.S. revised mercury standards that the U.S. and

has left us in a precarious position to be able to

a highly migratory species like swordfsh, it is

Canadian swordfsh fsheries in the western North

continue protecting what we’ve worked so hard

much more difcult to develop a consensus on

Atlantic began to recover.

to save. Part of this dynamic is that a very efective

an allocation scheme and a rebuilding strategy.

During the 1980s, landings of North Atlantic

public campaign to “give swordfsh a break” still

(Swordfsh typically interact with fsheries both

swordfsh increased rapidly, peaking at just over

lingers in the minds of many ecologically concerned

within and outside the exclusive economic zones

20,000 metric tons (mt) in 1987. While the U.S.

consumers. This is having a detrimental impact not

of several nations that difer in their levels of

accounted for about one-fourth of this catch, much

only on the U.S. swordfsh feet, but potentially on

development, history in the fshery, reliance on

of the increase resulted from growth of the Spanish

many of the bycatch species (marine mammals, sea

fsheries for protein and/or export revenue, etc.) But

longline feet, which almost tripled its landings

turtles, billfshes and sharks) that are impacted by the

while it may be difcult, it is not impossible.

to 11,000 mt. In addition, Portugal, which had

international swordfsh fshery. If future management

The swordfsh fshery goes back for several

a small, historical harpoon and handline fshery

eforts for other species are to have a happy ending,

centuries in the Mediterranean Sea, but along the

for swordfsh, aggressively developed a longline

it will require learning some important lessons from

Atlantic coast of North America, it really developed in

fshery in the mid-1980s with signifcant catches.

our swordfsh success.

the early 1800s, with harpooners targeting large fsh

Following this peak, North Atlantic swordfsh

that basked in surface waters of New England. The

landings decreased in the following years, causing

requires a little understanding of the challenges

harpoon fshery expanded throughout the western

some concern for the resource among the member

in managing such a highly migratory species. Not

North Atlantic over the next 150 years, but in the

nations of the International Commission for the

surprisingly, most of the success stories highlighted

To begin, learning from the swordfsh story

1950s and 1960s, landings in the developing pelagic

Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), who jointly

in Kevin’s article

longline fshery, which interacted with small as well

manage the tuna and tuna-like species (including

were for stocks

as large swordfsh, quickly outpaced the harpoon

swordfsh) in the Atlantic.

that reside within

fshery. In the early 1960s, Canada had the major

the exclusive

swordfsh fshery in the North Atlantic. In the late

its frst management measure for North

economic zone

1960s, U.S. Food and Drug Administration concerns

Atlantic swordfsh. Among other things,

4,727 in 1972

In 1990, the Commission adopted

20,224 in 1987

North Atlantic Swordfish Landings


they required parties to reduce fshing mortality and

appear that consensus would be achieved, but

annual quotas for North Atlantic swordfsh, and when

implemented a minimum size (55 lbs. 125 cm./49 in.

realizing the importance of getting a formalized

the landings approached the quota, the U.S. North

lower jaw fork length). However, this proved to have

sharing arrangement, the U.S., with support from our

Atlantic swordfsh fshery was shut down. Spain

limited efect. At the 1994 Commission meeting,

commercial fshermen, agreed to an allocation that

and Portugal achieved their landings reductions by

ICCAT took action again. It was realized that a multi-

represented a reduction from their long-term share

moving swordfsh fshing eforts (vessels) from the

step process would be required. First, the major

of historical landings.

North Atlantic to the South Atlantic and beyond.

players targeting North Atlantic swordfsh (Spain, Portugal, Canada and the United States) accepted

In 1996, there was a new assessment of North Atlantic swordfsh showing that overfshing was

a two-year measure covering 1995 and 1996 that established quota limits for the frst time. It was also agreed that a longterm sharing arrangement (allocation) would be developed the following year. The allocation discussions at the 1995 ICCAT meeting were long and difcult, even with a limited

While fshing mortality was being decreased in the North Atlantic, the swordfsh recovery fortuitously got a big boost from Mother Nature.

Not all of the countries that made the sacrifices to rebuild the stock have fully benefitted from recovery, most notably the United States.

number of major harvesters.

Large catches of young swordfsh (age 0 and 1) in 1997, 1998 and 1999 indicated that there had been high recruitment (spawning success) producing strong year classes. Providing these fsh protection to reach spawning size would greatly accelerate stock recovery. It was during this time that the environmental community also began to promote public awareness of the condition of the North Atlantic swordfsh stock. In January 1998, the “Give Swordfsh a Break”

Each nation had a diferent perspective on how

still occurring. Fishing mortality had to be further

campaign was launched in the United States to

the resource should be divided based on fshing

reduced. With country-specifc quota shares in place,

discourage the consumption of Atlantic swordfsh.

history. Canada, which had a major fshery in the late

it was easier (but not necessarily easy) to get nations

Through this well-publicized efort, many upscale

1950s and early 1960s, preferred a long timeframe,

to agree to a lower total allowable catch. Each nation

restaurants and high-end fsh markets stopped

while Portugal, who had ramped up catches over

would still maintain their fraction of the pie, but with

selling swordfsh. The campaign hit the U.S. longline

the past few years, only wanted to consider recent

a lower total allowable catch. In the United States, the

fshery, a fshery that produces primarily fresh fsh

catches. Ultimately, it was a negotiation. It did not

National Marine Fisheries Service implemented semi-

for local consumption, particularly hard. However,

High landings of North Atlantic Swordfsh throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s resulted in an overfshed stock with biomass levels well below those necessary to support maximum sustainable yield. Strong conservation measures promoted rapid recovery of swordfsh, as documented by a series of stock assessments (orange charts). Today, the biomass exceeds that necessary for maximum sustainable yield.

Stock Assessments


the impacts on imports of frozen swordfsh were not

1999, restricting participation to those vessels with

past 10 years, the biomass of North Atlantic swordfsh

as pronounced, as imported swordfsh reached an

a history in the fshery. To protect juvenile swordfsh,

has continued to improve and was recently (2009)

all-time high.

a series of areas along the U.S. South Atlantic coast

estimated to be 105% of that necessary to support

and in the Gulf of Mexico with historically high

maximum sustainable yield. With a rebuilt stock,

improvement. The biomass had increased from 58%

By 1999, the North Atlantic stock showed signs of

catches of juvenile swordfsh were closed seasonally

ICCAT has increased total allowable catch to

to 65% of that necessary for maximum sustainable

or permanently to pelagic longline fshing. The quota

13,700 mt, allowing for quota increases for those

yield. At that year’s ICCAT meeting, with leadership

reduction and closed areas were the straws

from the United States, and strong support from U.S.

that broke the backs of many U.S. pelagic

swordfsh fshermen and environmental groups, the

longline fshermen. Over the next several

Commission adopted a 10-year rebuilding program

years, almost one-half of the boats would

for North Atlantic swordfsh, with continuing stepped

leave the fshery. Many were too small to

reductions of total allowable catch, drawing down to

safely fsh outside of the closed areas, while

10,400 mt in 2002.

others were simply unable to turn a proft

The lower total allowable catch resulted in smaller country-specifc swordfsh quotas, and the lower semi-annual

with the reduced quotas and competition with less expensive foreign imports. The good news is that it did not take long

Many U.S. consumers, including some high profile chefs, are simply not aware that the North Atlantic swordfish stock is now rebuilt.

quotas implemented

for the swordfsh stock to recover. At the 2002

in the United States

assessment, the biomass of North Atlantic

further reduced the

swordfsh had increased to 94% of that

fshing season for the

necessary to support maximum sustainable yield. The

countries that took reductions to rebuild the stock,

U.S. pelagic longline

resource was nearly rebuilt. The 10-year rebuilding

as well as quota for new participants in the fshery.

feet. In addition, the U.S.

plan developed in 1999 had only been implemented

National Marine Fisheries

for two years. Clearly, the previous eforts by ICCAT

an international management success story, but

Service established a

to reduce fshing mortality and the good recruitment

not all of the countries that made the sacrifces to

limited entry system for

events of 1997 and 1998 had a major impact on

rebuild the stock have fully beneftted from recovery,

the swordfsh fshery in

rebuilding North Atlantic swordfsh. And over the

most notably the United States. At the peak of the

Number of U.S. Swordfish Vessels Reduced swordfsh quota from ICCAT, the implementation of closed areas to protect juvenile swordfsh and bycatch species, and reduced consumer demand for fresh U.S. swordfsh has had a devastating efect on our swordfsh feet.

The recovery of North Atlantic swordfsh is clearly


swordfsh fshery, the majority of efort in the U.S. fshery was represented by smaller vessels. When ICCAT reduced the total allowable catch and countryspecifc quotas, those vessels were too small to move to the South Atlantic or other oceans, and similarly, most were too small to safely fsh outside of the U.S. closures to protect juvenile swordfsh—they simply could no longer make a go of it in the fshery. Those vessels that remained in the fshery experienced additional regulatory challenges. During 2001, the National Marine Fisheries Service was required to close the Northeast Distant Region, a large section of productive swordfsh grounds encompassing the U.S. exclusive economic zone and international waters of New England and Canada, to U.S. fshermen in an efort to reduce bycatch interactions with endangered sea turtles. Unfortunately, these conservation measures did not apply to other nations, and due to a lack of coherence between U.S. laws that require conservation actions and those that regulate trade, it was still legal to import swordfsh caught by other nations in waters closed to U.S. fshermen. The U.S. pelagic longline fshery collaborated with the National Marine Fisheries Service to develop fshing techniques that signifcantly reduced sea turtle bycatch and bycatch mortality. It was found that interactions with sea turtles were greatly reduced with the use of large circle hooks and specifc baits, and when the Northeast Distant Region was reopened in 2003, all U.S. pelagic longline vessels were required to employ these terminal gear confgurations. As with the previous closed area, these terminal gear requirements, which resulted in small, but signifcant reductions in the catch rates of swordfsh and some other target species, only applied to U.S. fshermen. Consequently, U.S. fshermen continue to compete with fresh and frozen product exported to the United States from feets that are not required to implement the same bycatch

Guy Harvey and daughter Jessica in 2012 with the largest swordfsh cought on a rod and reel by a female angler in the last 30 years. Caught of Isla Mujeres, Mexico, it’s a prime example of what’s possible when reduced fshing pressure allows more swordfsh a chance to live longer and grow larger. The fsh was not wasted and was eaten by many.


reduction measures as our fshermen—they are not

of the closed areas. As a result, the United States has

unused U.S. swordfsh quota is reallocated to these

competing on a level playing feld.

not been able to harvest its quota of North Atlantic

nations, bycatch mortality on other stocks, including

In addition to the new bycatch regulations,

swordfsh. Until a few years ago, U.S. fshermen were

those that are highly overfshed as well as protected

the U.S. swordfsh feet was (and still is) plagued

catching only about half of the base quota, although

species, would increase. In addition, it is likely that

by poor market demand, which seems largely to

that has improved somewhat over the past few years.

some of that swordfsh would be exported to U.S.

be a hangover from the “Give Swordfsh a Break”

The fact that the United States has unused

markets, further depressing the price for U.S.-

campaign. Unfortunately, as demonstrated in my trip

swordfsh quota has not gone unnoticed at ICCAT.

to the market a few weeks ago, many U.S. consumers,

Many developing and developed nations would

including some high profle chefs, are simply not

like more swordfsh quota, and they see the unused

re-educate the public about North Atlantic swordfsh:

aware that the North Atlantic swordfsh stock is now

U.S. quota as fair game. So far, the United States has

the stock is rebuilt and it supports a healthy,

rebuilt and supports a healthy, sustainable fshery.

been able maintain its quota share, arguing that

sustainable fshery. It is also important to support the

It seems that in this case, the good news has not

our feet, which had a very large role in the recovery

U.S fshermen, as they made the greatest sacrifces

traveled fast.

of the resource, has undergone signifcant change

to rebuild the stock and continue to utilize the best

Together, these issues have created a new

caught swordfsh. The best way to turn the situation around is to

and needs time to rebuild, and that our unused

practices and the most comprehensive bycatch

swordfsh problem for the United States—one of not

quota represents a conservation investment in the

mitigation measures of any feet. So, the next time

being able to catch our entire available quota. As the

rebuilding process. However, those arguments will

you’re in a restaurant or at the seafood counter of

swordfsh resource recovered, ICCAT increased the

probably not keep the wolves at bay for much longer.

your grocery store, think about U.S.-caught, fresh

total allowable catch for North Atlantic swordfsh,

For the United States at ICCAT, it is a matter of “use it

Atlantic swordfsh. The break is over: they’re back,

and the annual quota in the U.S. grew. However, we

or lose it.”

and they are mighty tasty.

no longer had the feet capacity to catch our growing

Other than the obvious, a big downside of losing

quota. And with low prices, caused by reduced

U.S. swordfsh quota is that our fshermen comprise

market demand for fresh swordfsh and increased

the best regulated and most conservation-oriented

competition with fsh imported from countries that

feet in the North Atlantic. Our bycatch catch rates

allowed country-specifc quotas to be increased 10

do not require the same bycatch reduction measures

of turtles, marine mammals, sharks and billfshes

years ago, but the United States has not been able

that we do, there has been little economic incentive

are signifcantly lower than those of the nations that

to build new, larger vessels to fsh in waters outside

would like to obtain our unused quota. So if the

Recovery of the North Atlantic swordfsh stock

to take advantage of its increased quota. Loss of U.S. quota to other countries could have negative consequences for bycatch species such as marine mammals, sea turtles, billfshes and sharks.

3907 U.S. Base Quota

2888

2951

2878

2791 2048

U.S. Swordfish Landings



Lionfsh populations are quickly expanding in the Bahamas and elsewhere, becoming a more common sight for divers. Photo: Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas. Below: Lionfsh lifecycle. Illustration: Dawn Witherington for Loxahatchee River District and The Nature Conservancy.

Editor’s note: This article is part of our ongoing coverage of the lionfish epidemic.


BY JOSEPH IERNA, JR.

Just eight years ago, while diving in the crystal clear waters off of Long Island in the Southern Bahamas, it was rare to see one of them on the reefs. Today, however, the Pterois, commonly know as “lionfish,” has taken up permanent residency in Bahamian waters, and it’s clear they have no

intentions of leaving anytime soon. Like just about every other visitor to these islands, they seem to prefer to stay in paradise. Unfortunately, lionfish have not just invaded the Bahamas. They’re now plaguing tropical and subtropical waters from South America to the Atlantic Seaboard.


Eating a broad range of fsh, crustaceans and

As a result, there has been a rising tide of resistance

hover like helicopters on the shallow reefs. However,

mollusks, lionfsh are capable of consuming prey up

among recreational anglers, commercial fshermen

many divers have observed that lionfsh are fast

to half their size. Their diet includes commercially,

and divers.

learners and can become savvy to divers with spears,

recreationally, and ecologically important species

WHACK’EM!

so it’s best to “whack’em!” all whenever you see them.

such as juvenile groupers, snappers, hogfsh, and many reef fsh, including grazers and cleaner fsh, all

While large groupers, sharks and even morey eels

sting from a lionfsh is not fatal to humans, like any

of which are important in keeping our oceans and

have been observed consuming lionfsh, studies

sting, it can be painful, and swelling may occur in

reefs healthy. There is widespread agreement that

indicate that these are rare occurrences, and that

the afected area. Each person reacts diferently, so if

without implementing new measures of control of

lionfsh have no natural predators in this part of

needed, it’s best to seek medical attention.

the lionfsh populations, the native species of the

the world. That leaves man as the primary answer

Bahamian reefs will continue to be consumed at an

to lionfsh eradication. The most efective method

prominence that The Bahamas Department of Marine

unprecedented rate. This includes the possibility of

has been to spear them, or as Dr. Guy Harvey

Resources (DMR) has an environmental awareness

some commercial species even being reduced to

so eloquently says, “Whack’em!” It’s legal in the

and education program in place. They distribute

unsustainable levels. Simply put, lionfsh are a direct

Bahamas, and highly efective, to shoot lionfsh with

brochures and handbooks on safe handling of

threat to the fshing and tourism industries, which are

a Hawaiian sling or pole spear while freediving. The

lionfsh, and the College of the Bahamas (COB)

a vital part of the Bahamas and Caribbean economy.

fsh are usually very easy to spear, as they tend to

Marine and Environmental Sciences Institute is

The only danger is from the fsh’s spines. Although a

The lionfsh issue has gained enough


Opposite: This beauty, seen here in its home Pacifc waters of Fiji, is a beast when found in the Caribbean region, thanks to venomous spines and a lack of natural predators. Photo: Bill Boyce. Portrait of an Invasion

• Lionfish were introduced by humans into local waters. The invasive lionfish quickly become established in Atlantic ecosystems.

• Invaders take advantage of an

overfished sea. Over-harvest of large predators that may eat lionfish, or compete with lionfish for prey, may have set the stage for proliferation.

• Lionfish are formidable. Their

The red lionfish is an invasive species native to the Indo-Pacific Ocean. Their human-caused introduction and subsequent population increase are now causing negative impacts on marine ecosystems in the southeastern seaboard of the U.S. and the Caribbean Sea. Lionfish are efficient predators invading a variety of natural and artificial habitats, competing with native predator fish and consuming smaller fishes, including the young of large species. A similar species, the devil firefish, Pterois miles, has also been observed in the Atlantic.

venomous spines and unique appearance may deter potential predators and make them unrecognizable as prey.

• Lionfish reproduce quickly.

Lionfish are able to breed yearround, as frequently as every 4 days, and mature at a young age.

• Lionfish may out-compete

native predators. Native species, such as snappers and groupers, may not be able to compete with lionfish for food and habitat.

• Lionfish can decimate reefs. With

their voracious appetites, lionfish can reduce populations of juvenile and small fish on coral reefs by up to 90 percent. Lionfish may indirectly affect corals by overconsuming grazing parrotfishes, which normally prevent algae from growing over corals.

Affected Areas

Lionfish are effective predators. Their techniques include ambushing prey, cooperative hunting, and “corralling” with their fan-like pectoral fins. Lionfish can consume substantial numbers of small fish and crustaceans in one feeding, reducing small fish populations by up to 90 percent.

Observations of red lionfish have been recorded on coral patch reefs and deep reefs (up to 1000 feet deep or 305 meters), wrecks, mangroves, seawalls, docks, and estuaries ranging from the northeastern U.S. and Bermuda to the western Gulf of Mexico and throughout the Caribbean Sea.

What Do Lionfish Eat? Lionfish are indiscriminate predators that will consume many prey small enough to fit in their mouth, including the young of important fishery species such as grouper and snapper and ecologically important species such as parrotfishes. Lionfish may impact fishery populations which may impact local economies. Small S mall fish fish recognize recognize reef re e f p redators, ssuch uch as as snappers, snappers, but but predators, m ay not not recognize recognize lionfish lionfish as as may p redators. predators. Small crabs

Juvenile spiny lobster

Life Cycle Shrimps

Gobies

Wrasses Eggs, 15,000–30,000 per spawning event.

Larval stage, 20–40 days less than 2 cm (0.8 in)

Every 4 days year-round the female releases two mucousencapsulated egg masses that are fertilized by the male.

Approximately 36 hours later, the eggs hatch into larvae, which are dispersed by ocean currents.

The Venomous Spines Lionfish have two grooves on each spine. These grooves are filled with venom-producing tissue. After the spine punctures the skin, the venom glands release a potent neurotoxin that travels up the grooves into the wound. First aid for stings: Take a pain reliever and soak the wound in hot water. Consult a physician as soon as possible. 11‒13 Groove Ridge

Sheath

2 Groove Ridge

3

Venomous spines Non-venomous rays

Juvenile, up to 10 months 2–10 cm (0.8–4 in)

Reproductive adult, 1 year 10–20 cm (4–8 in)

Juveniles spend most of their time in one small area but can live in a wide range of habitats.

Although lionfish in their native range can live to 15 years, little is known about the lifespans of Atlantic invaders.

Nassau grouper juveniles

Juvenile fishes

How to Help • Never release aquarium fish into the wild. • Report lionfish sightings to your local or national marine regulatory agency. • Participate in lionfish tournaments to reduce local lionfish populations. • Eat more lionfish. Their white, flaky meat is delicious. • Wear thick gloves when handling to prevent injury. Venomous spines can be removed by carefully cutting with shears, making it easier to handle the fish safely.

Turrell, Hall & Associates, Inc. marine & environmental consulting

Loxahatchee River District “Preserving Nature by Design” TM Poster Series, No. 7 www.loxahatcheeriver.org

NSF grant No. 08-51162 NSF grant No. 12-33027

&RS\ULJKW 'DZQ :LWKHULQJWRQ

Right: The red dots represent confrmed lionfsh sightings. Below: Lionfsh are highly efective predators that ambush a wide range of prey. Illustrations and map: Dawn Witherington for Loxahatchee River District and The Nature Conservancy. For the full poster, see loxahatcheeriver.org

Invasion! Many anglers and divers are becoming familiar with the lionfsh story. It’s a prime example of the success an invasive species can have when conditions are just right for its survival. A native of the Indo Pacifc and Red Sea regions, these venomous marine fshes are popular aquarium fsh, and of the nine diferent species, the Pterois volitans (red lionfsh) and Pterois miles (common lionfsh) were accidentally introduced into the Atlantic Ocean of of South Florida, sometime in the early 1990’s. Today, lionfsh can be found in waters as far north as Maine, as far south as Venezuela, east to Barbados, and there have even been sightings of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. Lionfsh can live up to 15 years, can grow seven inches per year, can begin to reproduce at six months old and can lay as much as 15,000 eggs on a monthly basis. That kind of reproductive math, along with the fact that there are no natural predators for lionfsh in these waters, means populations continue to thrive and multiply at an unsustainable rate. The environmental efects of this predator are likely to be widespread and devastating to the natural ecology of Bahamas reefs.


conducting genetic research on the species origin

locally on some Bahamas islands by the fsh houses

fund would be used to supplement the price ofered

as well as conducting targeted surveys to more

and one of the Bahamas’ larger fsh houses, Tropic

by the fsh houses, increasing the price per pound of

precisely defne the impact the species is having on

Seafoods, in Nassau. However, lionfsh is a very small

fllet and encouraging more commercial fshermen

our reefs. Along with the education and research

fsh, on average one pound, so the amount of work

to pursue the species. It’s hoped that as lionfsh,

eforts, many local groups have put the “whack’em!”

to catch, clean and process the fsh is not attractive to

which have a delicate and desirable fesh, grow in

strategy to good use by organizing lionfsh derbies

the commercial fsherman at present prices (fuel cost

popularity among consumers, the market would

with cash prizes ofered to the winners. This has

alone in the Bahamas is almost $6 per gallon.) The

become self-supporting.

proven to be an efective measure to combat the problem in localized areas, but it’s clear that a greater efort will be needed for long-term success. “The extent of the marine territory of the Bahamas—over 100,000 square miles—coupled with the general habitat preference of lionfsh, deems management of this invasive species very difcult or impractical,” says Lakeshia Anderson of the Bahamas National Trust. She also says that some popular misconceptions about lionfsh spread during the early days of “the invasion” are making it more difcult to promote lionfsh as a true fsheries resource. “The term ‘venomous’ has created somewhat of a disinterest for individual consumption of lionfsh,” she says.

GOING COMMERCIAL That misconception is unfortunate, because as many see it, the best long-term solution for controlling lionfsh is to have them be pursued by commercial fshermen and consumed by the public. That’s the position of the Ocean Crest Alliance (OCA), a non-proft organization operating in the U.S. and the Bahamas, which wants to help create a more lucrative market for lionfsh meat. The OCA is working with the Bahamas National Trust, The Nature Conservancy and other concerned groups toward creating a funding program to assist Bahamian fsh houses in purchasing lionfsh from the local commercial fshing feet. Presently, lionfsh fllet is being bought and sold

Right top: Miguel (driver) and Enrico Burrows of Constantakis Sea Enterprises, along with owner Angelo Constantakis (right) are part of the local efort of Bahamian fshermen to turn the tide on lionfsh. All spearing must be done while freediving—no tanks allowed.


It’s an idea that has merit in the minds of some industry professionals.

Handle with Care

“A program of this type is desirable, of beneft to the economy and a good

Cleaning lionfsh is not difcult, but handling them is easier when using the correct

measure for conservation,” says Jon Chaiton of Tropic Seafood. Chaiton also

tools and a little common sense. Lionfsh are members of the scorpion fsh family, so

would like to see greater education about properly handling and cleaning

it’s important to avoid their venomous spines. This is best done with a good pair of

lionfsh so that it becomes more accessible to the public.

puncture-resistant gloves and some kitchen shears. Once the fsh is dead, simply cut

George Constantakis, owner of Constantakis Sea Enterprises, located

of all the spines. Once removed, there is little chance of getting stung. You can cook

on Long Island in the Southern Bahamas, agrees. “This new lionfsh

the fsh whole or fllet like any other fsh. Small but delicious, the lionfsh is very

program would be a great beneft to the fshermen, the local economy and,

tasty and an excellent choice for ceviche, with sweet onions, vine ripe tomatoes,

ultimately, to the conservation concerns with the lionfsh on our reefs,” he

herbs from the garden, lime and chili pepper, to taste.

says. “These lionfsh are eating everything and they have no enemies!” Constantakis has even ofered to help combat the lionfsh issue locally. “My fsh house could ofer a weekly or monthly bonus to each one of the dive teams, that whoever returns that week with the most lionfsh will receive a bonus of $500 or $1,000. This would be for whole fsh, and then the fsh house will process the fsh and market the product to the restaurants.”

A NEW DELICACY Lionfsh is an excellent tasting fsh with delicate white fesh, and the OCA has visions of marketing it as a “boutique” product that can be sold and prepared at restaurants throughout the nation. If successful, the program may become a model that can be adapted in other locales as governments and industry alike wrestle with ways to handle this aggressive species. It seems evident that without the assistance of man, lionfsh populations will continue to take over the tropical reefs of the Atlantic, Gulf and Caribbean waters, with a devastating long-term efect. In this solution, perhaps controlling the problem can also help support local fshing and tourism industries. For more information, visit oceancrestalliance.org.

Venomous Spines Lionfsh have two grooves on each spine. These grooves are flled with venom-producing tissue. After the spine punctures the skin, the venom glands release a potent neurotoxin that travels up the grooves into the wound. First aid for stings: Take a pain reliever and soak the wound in hot water. Consult a physician as soon as possible.


TARPON TRACKS

Ordinary anglers help DNA specialists unravel the mysteries of tarpon movements.

BY KEVIN BAXTER & KATHY GUINDON

Editor’s Note: This is a follow-up to our coverage of tarpon research by the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust in South Carolina (Lowcountry Kings, summer 2012) and highlights the ongoing efforts of a DNA study by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, in which anglers are collecting important data on tarpon throughout the Southeast.


DNA samples can be taken quickly while keeping the tarpon in the water. it was sampled a third time after another month. Tarpon travels over this distance, more than 100 miles, represent what biologists refer to as regional movements. But data proves that tarpon travels do not stop there. The greatest distance between a tarpon’s catch and sampling locations is approximately 280 miles. That fsh was caught near Apalachicola in the Florida Panhandle before it was recaptured near Captiva Island in Southwest Florida almost two years later. Other tarpon recaptures show an individual fsh may return to the same location in subsequent years. One adult tarpon sampled in Southwest Florida’s Boca Grande Pass in June returned to the pass during spawning season one year later. A second tarpon caught and sampled in the pass in June was recaptured two years later. These fsh provide evidence that some adult tarpon return to the same spawning aggregation areas.

If

you’re into fsh stories and detective work, then you’re a perfect candidate to help with a project called the Tarpon Genetic Recapture

Anglers interested in getting involved can help biologists by sampling any tarpon they catch. DNA sample kits can be ordered by calling (800) 367-4461, or

Study. Beneath the crisp academic moniker is a fascinating and constantly

emailing TarponGenetics@MyFWC.com. Kits are also available at participating

unfolding tale about the habits and travels of tarpon in the southeast. The

retailers. All kits are free and are paid for by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) runs the study

Restoration Act, Project F-59, and the State of Florida’s tarpon tag program.

along with partners at Mote Marine Laboratory. Anglers get involved by

The kits have no expiration date and samples require no refrigeration. More

supplying much of the manpower and feldwork, as volunteers gather

information is available online at MyFWC.com/Research. Click on “Saltwater”

DNA samples from each tarpon they catch. FWC geneticists then use DNA

and select “Tarpon Genetics” under “Tarpon.”

fngerprinting to process submitted samples, allowing scientists to compare DNA profles against those already in the database to see if the tarpon has been caught and sampled before. In 2012, hundreds of anglers caught and sampled tarpon, and aspects of the study were incorporated into two dozen diferent tarpon tournaments. Thanks to public support and participation in Florida and throughout the southeastern U.S., more than 17,000 tarpon DNA samples have been collected and returned to project scientists as of January 2013. Evaluations of DNA profles completed through November 2012 identifed 143 tarpon as recaptures. Biologists use recapture data to learn more about catch rates and seasonal movement patterns of individual fsh, as well as the overall tarpon population structure. Over time, biologists are able to assess tarpon stocks and better understand the relationship between tarpon and diferent bodies of water. Emerging movement patterns have shown a connection between tarpon habitats in southwest Florida and those of the Florida Keys. Two tarpon frst sampled in Charlotte Harbor during August were later sampled near Key West and Islamorada the following spring. During spawning season, which runs from April to July, another tarpon traveled from Sarasota waters in June to waters near Islamorada 25 days later, where Anglers can order DNA kits free of charge.


Above: Spiny lobster. Right: Redspotted hawkfsh and orange cup coral.

Tarpon in the shadow of a dock in Key Largo.



Hogfsh on the reefs of Fort Lauderdale. Opposite top: Spiny lobsters pack in under a coral head during the start of mating season of of Miami Beach. Bottom: A lone sailfsh cruises southward from Fort Lauderdale during the winter migration.



Snook, near Port Everglades. Opposite: “Bull’s Eye”—close-up of a mahi-mahi.



Redfsh chases down a Yo-Zuri shrimp lure in Florida Bay. Opposite top: View from the lobster boat, Rock Steady, of Rum Cay in the outer Bahamas. Bottom: A Hobie kayak and a bull shark meet of of the beach of Cat Island, Mississippi.




VOLUME 2, ISSUE 6 SPRING 2013

Photo: Bill Boyce.

SLOT LIMITS • BIG WAHOO IN FIJI • VIDEO GEAR • HOW REGULATIONS HAPPEN


BY GUEST EDITOR NICK HONACHEFSKY

Support for Slots A conservation-minded look at how slot limits may be the most viable way to manage a species. Everybody loves catching the big one, but fsh shouldn’t need to rely on luck to

active members of a species, whereas the younger and older counterparts are

reach trophy size—they can always use a little help from fsheries management.

protected to grow and spawn out.

In the old days, when stocks weren’t as pressured both commercially and recreationally, size limits were small and bag limits were big, but that arcane

With obvious discourse, diferent species demand varied slot sizes, but basic criteria when determining a slot limit could include the following:

management now has no place in a world where ever-growing demand makes

Start lower slot parameter sometime after sexual maturity.

efective management an absolute necessity. A sound answer to start managing a

Slot harvest range would include active, early middle-aged fsh.

recreational fsheries population, in my opinion, is to initiate slot limits.

End the higher slot parameter before a “trophy” level, when the largest

Slot limits on saltwater species promote many benefts toward the overall

of species carry the most eggs.

sustainability of a species, most importantly because they allow for the growth

of juvenile members and protect the wizened breeders. This “selective culling”

In my opinion, New Jersey set up a near perfect slot scenario a few years back

Introduce a trophy tag to use once a year to keep a world-class fsh.

instituted by a slot limit, in theory, propagates the health and viability of the species. As juveniles are allowed to grow and reach sexual maturity, they then enter the strongest period of their life in early middle age, when they should be harvested. Any middle-aged fsh that survives past the upper parameters of a slot will be able to breed and procreate freely until their natural deaths. The slot allows anglers to take or release strong,

when regulating striped bass.

Slot limits on saltwater species promote many benefits toward the overall sustainability of a species, most importantly because they allow for the growth of juvenile members and protect the wizened breeders.

Anglers were allowed to keep one fsh between 24 and 28 inches (age 5 to 8 years old) and one fsh over 28 inches. Those regs were smart as they allowed harvest of a healthy, early middle-aged fsh, as well as another middle-aged or older fsh— plenty of fllets to take home for a day out fshing.


Opposite: Nick Honachefsky with a fat triple tail.

The regs then changed to two fsh over 28 inches

should release trophy-caliber fsh anyway, taking

long, which I wasn’t pleased with, as many people

measurements and photographs for a fberglass fsh

began keeping the larger breeder cows (30-50

mount for commemorating the event. Other factors

lbs./42-50 inches), while throwing back the smaller,

to consider that support a middle-aged slot rather

albeit quality-sized, fsh (12-18 lbs./28-35 inches),

than keeping large breeding fsh revolve around

thus putting more pressure on the big breeders. If we

studies showing that more toxins accumulate in

prompt anglers to take only the largest of fsh with

older, larger fsh, making the smaller, middle-aged

no end cap, uneducated and even educated anglers

fsh more desirable to consume.

will tend to get “big eyes” syndrome and keep the largest fsh they catch that day. In an ideal scenario, regulations would also

Whatever the case, there is no panacea for fsheries management, and many variables must be taken into consideration when delineating

allow a once-a-year trophy tag to address the

regulations, including spawning seasons, bag limits,

desire to take home a world-class caliber fsh. For

growth rates, mortality rates, etc., that must be

example, a Floridian bags a redfsh that’s a potential

factored into the equation. However, I think initiating

record at 50 inches, well outside the 18- to 27-inch

slot limits, in respect to other species-specifc

Florida slot, but so long as he possesses a “once a

variables, is a good place to start for any fsheries

year” tag, he would be allowed to keep and mount

management, as it smartly addresses the biological

the fsh. Obviously, anglers practicing conservation

and life-cycle science behind creating regulations.


Eric Schwaab Eric Schwaab, has more than 25 years of experience in local, state and federal natural resource management. He is assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries, is currently acting assistant secretary for Conservation and Management for NOAA. Schwaab was a participant in the recent Gulf Fisheries Symposium sponsored by GHM. In his role at NOAA, he oversees the management and conservation of marine fsheries and the protection of marine mammals, sea turtles and coastal fsheries habitat within the United States’ exclusive economic zone. We’ve asked him for some insight on the science and process of creating fshing regulations.

Eric Schwaab, left, during an interview with Dr. Guy Harvey at the 2012 Gulf Fisheries Symposium. Photo: Jim Tizzano.

CA: Can you help us understand how NOAA Fisheries does their fish stock assessments? ES: Many factors play into estimating the health of a fsh stock. To develop fsh stock assessments, scientists gather biological information such as how long a species lives, the age or size at which they reproduce and how many ofspring a species typically produces. We also gather information from commercial and recreational fsheries, and when available, we use independent scientifc fsh abundance surveys. These surveys are very helpful for tracking the stability of stocks, or whether they are trending up or going down. NOAA has dedicated millions of additional dollars to improve and accelerate fsh stock assessments by hiring more experts, developing cuttingedge statistical models, and collecting better data through the use of new technologies, such as sonar and high-resolution video.

BY CA STAFF

An insider perspective on fishing regulations.


In the Southeast Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean assessments, NOAA uses a cooperative

estimates by removing sources of potential bias— factors that could infuence the estimates.

(SEDAR). The Regional Fishery Management Councils,

NOAA Fisheries will begin using improved catch

in coordination with NOAA Fisheries and the Atlantic

surveys and conduct them in ways that will provide

and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commissions, all

better data. For example, in the past, we didn’t

work together to manage this process.

conduct surveys at night, so valuable data may have

CA: Some of the management techniques NOAA uses may be working, but they are tough to take. Any predictions for the future?

process called Southeast Data Assessment and Review

I am happy to report that in the spring of 2013,

been missed. We will collect data at night, and we

ES: NOAA scientists are seeing more fsh and better

very public. And, in the fnal phase of this process, a

plan to continue to work toward monthly turn-

fshing conditions in many areas around the country.

panel of independent experts reviews the data and

around of the data.

Many recreational fsheries are seeing increased

One thing I like about this process is that it is

assessment outcomes, and makes recommendations. We use similar processes in other regions.

CA: As anglers, we hear about the importance of recreational data. There is a lot of skepticism about its accuracy. Can you explain what NOAA Fisheries is doing to address this?

quota and better fshing opportunities. But we

CA: The Councils and NOAA have told us that we will have better fishing once stocks rebuild, but it seems the opposite is occurring in the Gulf with red snapper.

still see other recreational fsheries struggling with changing conditions. And even with improving stocks, constraints are needed to ensure we do not short circuit progress. The Councils, with recreational, commercial, state and federal government and other representatives, are working hard along with NOAA to implement the

ES: The red snapper population is doing great, and

laws in a way that work for fshermen and fsh. I am

we expect this year’s assessment to show more good

optimistic that information provided by the public

news. The recreational allocation has increased from

during the ongoing review of the National Standard

ES: We treat concerns about recreational data very

2.45 to 4.26 million pounds over the past four years.

One guidelines, which includes annual catch limit

seriously. Most of the time, anglers question the

But as anglers are seeing more fsh, bigger fsh and

provisions, will help identify a path to get us to where

accuracy of catch and efort estimates, and express

fsh in more places, they are catching fsh faster than

we all want to be. We are excited by the progress we

concerns about how fast the collected data is put to

the quota is increasing. The retained fsh are heavier,

have made together, but know that we have much

use. There’s no doubt that calculating total catch from

bag limits are being caught more quickly and more

work together to provide fshing opportunities not

millions of recreational anglers is more challenging

anglers are catching them. This results in shorter

only today, but for our children and grandchildren.

than directly tracking commercial catch landed at

seasons to ensure that we continue to progress

the dock.

toward a fully rebuilt stock, with older fsh and

A few years ago, NOAA asked for and received a thorough review of our recreational data collection

improved distribution across its historic range. The Gulf Council’s Reef Fish Committee met

system by the National Research Council. Results

in a special session in January to discuss potential

showed that we needed to make improvements in

solutions to the shorter fshing seasons, including

many aspects of our recreational estimation process.

allocating more fsh to anglers and shifting to

NOAA Fisheries quickly responded with an initiative

regional management of fsh. We are also awaiting a

we call the “Marine Recreational Information Program.”

new stock assessment later this year.

Our scientists and managers worked with outside

NOAA scientists and managers share anglers’

experts, state partners and many in the recreational

frustration regarding red snapper, and we are looking

fshing community to improve the accuracy of catch

at this issue carefully.

Eric was a panelist and moderator at the Gulf Fisheries Symposium in September. Photo: Jim Tizzano.


Bill Boyce is a veteran fsheries biologist turned TV producer and host. His work includes the award-winning series Angler’s Digest.


For adventurous types,

the South Pacific conjures up seductive images of deep, blue water and palm-speckled islands. Most of the fun in this part of the world is focused on surfing killer breaks and diving over fat, healthy coral. Both are a product of spectacular reefs tucked away in a corner of the globe that relatively few people frequent. This remote paradise is high on the wish list of most divers and surfers, but few anglers realize sportfishing is equally spectacular in the region and yet severely underutilized. Why is there so little fishing? First, very few boats found in the South Pacific are rigged adequately to pursue large, big-game species offshore. Second, tackle is expensive and must be imported from thousands of miles away, as very few outfitters are present in the island chains. Third, when you consider how few people have ever fished the South Pacific, most of the offshore habitat is virgin wilderness and very little is known about it.

TEXT & PHOTOS BY BILL BOYCE


Travel Facts The Fiji Islands lie some 700 miles north of New Zealand and include over 300 islands dispersed in two main groups known as Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Only 100 or so islands are inhabited and the others are nature reserves. • The population of Fiji is 775,000. • Weather is typically mild year-round, ranging from 65-90°F. Above: Fiji’s Great Astrolabe Reef is one of the healthiest and most resilient on the planet. Slightly cooler water temps

• When traveling from the United States, you will cross the International Date Line, losing a day on your arrival and getting it back on your return. • Daily fights service Fiji from Australia, New Zealand and the United States on Air

allow it to bounce back quickly from

Pacifc Airlines. The main international airport is in Nadi on Viti Levu’s western coast.

coral bleaching episodes and help it to

From there, commuter fights reach every corner of the Fijian Island group.

sustain a healthy fsh population. Maps: © 2013 Google Maps. Cnes/Spot

• The local currency is the Fijian dollar and the current exchange is about 2:1 to the U.S. dollar. All the stores readily exchange U.S. dollars to Fiji dollars.

Image. Data: SIO, NOAA, U.S. Navy,

• English is the most common shared language of Fiji.

NGA, GEBCO, LDEO-Columbia, NSF.

• The Fiji tourism board in the U.S. can be reached at fjime.com, 310-568-1616.

Image: Terrametrics.

• Air Pacifc Airlines fights can be booked at airpacifc.com, 800-227-4446.


All of this holds true for Fiji, one of the Pacifc’s

sea temperatures plays a major role in massive

Astrolabe reef of South Kadavu Island also has the

most picturesque island chains. That is, with one

bleaching episodes. Scientists have determined the

fortune of having water temperatures that average

exception. A frst-class, ofshore fshing operation

bleaching process evolves when sea temperatures

0.5-1.0°C less than the other Fiji islands, and thus,

here ofers a staggering array of inshore and

rise over 29°C for a period of over six weeks or more,

not nearly as susceptible to coral bleaching. In fact,

ofshore fsh to target. I tripped over it by chance,

causing devastating bleaching to several coral

coral experts agree that the expansive coral larvae

which is often the best way to fnd such jewels.

groups, especially the Acropora varieties.

production of the Astrolabe reef of South Kadavu

A few years ago, I was directing and hosting a

A favorable, nine-year study by the Global Coral

Island is a major coral regeneration source for the

saltwater fshing television show called IGFA Angler’s

Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN) and scientists

Digest. We received an email invitation to fsh with

on the Fiji Coral Reef Monitoring Network (FCRMN)

an IGFA captain on the remote island of Kadavu,

concluded that Fiji’s reef systems are very quick to

no wonder Fiji is a diving hotspot; but how about

the southernmost island of Fiji. We looked it up

recover from these events. In fact, the massive coral

the fshing? With some continued correspondence

on the map, and began some research. Hmm…

bleaching in the South Pacifc in 2000 and 2002 had

with Captain Adrian Watts of the Matava Resort, we

The Astrolabe reef extends nearly 100 kilometers

recovered to pre-bleaching levels by 2005. This is

quickly surmised this man was very well outftted,

around its south side. This reef is world famous for

great news for the world’s coral reefs if they also

very enthusiastic and very serious about chasing

the quantity and the quality of the coral. In fact,

share Fiji’s unique environmental conditions.

some light tackle world records.

many reputed coral ecologists have spent time

rest of Fiji following acute bleaching periods. With such a hearty and healthy reef system, it’s

It certainly helps that Fiji is geographically

“So Adrian, what types of fsh are we expected

researching the corals found there and use these

remote from industrialized landmasses, with a low

studies as a reference to compare other quality reefs

density of destructive commercial fshing practices.

in the world.

Fiji also has an amazingly large physical reef diversity

course of a year…you will see them all. Dorado,

of coral species, with an extensive connectivity of

barred Spanish mackerel, yellowfn, skipjack, and

these habitats, genetic stocks and good current

dogtooth tuna, sailfsh, black marlin, blue marlin,

fows to disperse larvae during spawning events.

sharks, and packs of huge wahoo, and giant trevally,

Fiji’s reefs difer from many other living coral

Couple all these factors with the expansive network

all just meters from the reefs, and no farther than a

environments in that they have been found to be

of locally managed, marine protected areas, and

few miles ofshore.”

very resilient to coral bleaching occurrences. It is

you can understand why Fiji’s reef resiliency occurs

common knowledge that the warming of global

and why it is such an important place to sustain. The

Fish Engine

to encounter on the outside reefs?” “Depends on the time of year, but over the

That type of a glowing report was enough to get my producers into a flming frenzy. We booked it.

Fiji Nadi International Airport

Great Astrolabe Reef Kadavu


Fijian Fish Safari

Getting there was pretty straightforward—a 10-hour “red eye” direct fight from Los Angeles to Nadi on the very accommodating Air Pacifc Airlines, then a six-hour layover and a one-hour, inter-island fight on the same air provider. A ponga skif took us to Matava Resort. Along the way, we passed a reef that immediately told us what a special spot we had just found. Approaching the resort, we passed the BITE ME, a well-outftted, 31-foot, twin diesel, Aussie-built, DeepVee sportfsher resting on anchor in one of the most scenic sportfshing settings I have ever

Local Vibe

seen. My thoughts began racing with visions of

The island of Kadavu is dotted with

what we could expect on the reefs the next day.

several native villages, which rarely,

We walked ashore, and the Matava Resort staf

if ever, get any tourist exposure.

anxiously greeted us. The resort is an eco-lodge,

Matava ofers a unique opportunity

built out of local, native woods, with roofs of

to visit one, and the amazing

thatched palm and bamboo siding. It only holds

waterfall there is icing on the cake.

22 people, so you never feel the need to adapt to

The village lifestyle is all about

a mega-resort mentality. The staf of local Fijians

family and friends, and nothing to

are amongst the friendliest I have ever had the

do about materialistic belongings.

pleasure of meeting, and from the frst “bula”

Kids are well fed with a rich protein

(“hello” in Fijian), you feel as welcome as family.

diet from the sea and garden-grown

We were there in the Fijian winter month

vegetables. Schools are an important

A Fijian kava celebration mixes locals, tourists and a peppery local plant.

of July. They call it winter, but it seemed like a

component of village life and the

stunning summer in California. There was some

kids revel in community activity, such as song and dance. Kava celebrations (kava is a local Fiji-grown pepper

wind and rain, and Mother Nature was acting the

root used to create a spiritual drink) can occur at almost any time in the villages and occasionally a kava party is

part. But the water was a balmy 78°F, or 25.5°C.

thrown for the guests at Matava. A good kava party story is essential for anyone returning home from Fiji.

Adrian informed us that yellowfn, sailfsh and large wahoo would be the target species. He didn’t let us down. From the frst hour of the

my cameraman/producer, Richard Chudy, would

must ask how many more we may have seen if we

reef, we were covered up in huge wahoo, passing

even get into the action.

put out a trolling spread similar to that fshed in

through large concentrations of them “packed”

After catching and releasing several large

Central America for sailfsh.

up and attacking our lures in multiple forces.

wahoo, we passed a point along the outer reef wall

Marlin is a Fijian summer fsh, meaning that

Movement would be seen in the lure spread, and

where Captain Adrian informed us of a few bait

they show in these waters from December through

seconds later, huge explosions would go of on

balls on the meter. “Watch for sailfsh in the pattern.”

February. Both black and blue marlin are caught here

the baits, with skying wahoo of 50-60 lbs. leaping

Within minutes, a double hook-up on sailfsh was

and many are considered sizeable for their species.

15 feet out of the water and crashing down on

the result. It should be noted that these Fiji sailfsh

An average fsh is 400 lbs., yet many are caught, or at

our baits as they attack from above. Multiple

are large individuals, many commonly found above

least hooked, that would scale over 700 lbs. of body

hook-ups were the norm. I would be “bendo;”

120 lbs. By the end of the day, fve sailfsh had been

mass. Many are hooked just a mile or two outside the

then the mate, Joe Tuko, would grab a rod; then

raised and we weren’t even fshing for them. One

reef where lots of small tunas are seen foraging on


Matava Matava is most typifed as an eco-resort. Built within the tropical forest of Kadavu Island’s south shore, the views and the sounds of the Astrolabe reef in the background make for a breathtaking setting. The entire resort is constructed from locally grown pines and hardwoods, which make up the frames for the main structures. The siding and roofs are done in traditional manner and constructed with thatched palm fronds and weaved palm. Each bure (room) is designed and orientated to beneft from shade and sea breezes for cooling. The water supply is a natural spring fltered through limestone, and is of excellent quality. The entire staf is made up of local villagers whom are amongst the most friendly you will ever meet. The vegetables are organically grown in the resort garden and the fsh served for meals are, of course, super fresh, typically flleted within hours of your plate appearance.

Yellowfn tuna are best targeted June through August in Fiji. Photo: Bill Boyce.

more ofshore, yellowfn approaching 100 lbs. can be hooked. The lean and mean dogtooth tuna is a year-round resident and often can be seen on dives as they cruise the narrow passages from open water to inner reef. For the last few years, my gamefshing eforts have been focused on the speedy, toothy wahoo. Few places in the world can boast the aggregation behavior of wahoo “packs” like Matava can. The IGFA world record book can be rewritten in these waters with a patient angler, some excellent tackle and some time on his hands. Two years ago, I targeted the men’s IGFA world record on 8-lb. test. I hooked that fsh, but after one hour and ffteen minutes, pulled the hook. For the last two years, Tim Simpson of Australia’s BlueWater magazine and I vowed to meet up in Fiji to pursue that very same record this year. We joined forces with Captain Adrian Watts, and his trusty mate, Joe Tuko, to give the record a run for its money this

small baitfsh; others are encountered by spending

slow trolling them on the bank can bring interest

June. As you all know, having great boats, skippers,

a day on the ofshore bank located 30 miles from

from some gargantuan predators. Marlins aren’t the

mates and competent “handle-turners” can mean

Matava on Kadavu’s southwestern tip. This is a active

only ones, however. Large pelagic sharks, wahoo

nothing if the weather doesn’t want to cooperate,

fsh area anytime you decide to make the run. Once

and world-record-sized dogtooth tuna will pulverize

hence our 2008 trip. That dilemma made us all agree

there, current movement is essential at the bank to

these live baits, too.

to “butch up” for another attempt this year. This year,

get things “fshy.” Adrian likes pulling lures for his

Speaking of tunas, yellowfn make an annual

Mother Nature gave us two days of peace. The quest

marlin, as this allows him to cover lots of territory in

pilgrimage through Kadavu waters. Most commonly

was the same as a year ago—a men’s IGFA world-

the pursuit of big fsh. But if conditions appear good

seen in June, July and August, they are usually just

record wahoo on 4 kg. The fsh are there, it is just

on the bank, then catching tunas, bridling them and

the football-sized variety. But when encountered

fnding the one that will make a mistake far bigger


than merely inhaling a plug. The frst fsh of our entire trip was a good sign.

to the east when it happened…streaking masses of

reality—a 31.4-kg. wahoo on 4 kg.—a new men’s

tail movements and huge explosions on our lures!

IGFA record! There would be no need to wake from

I took the Fijian sailfsh record on 4 kg. And we

All three rods lit up simultaneously, and the Boone

this dream.

were all smiles. “This is too good to be true,” we

“mirror” diving teaser was being chewed by a huge

simultaneously proclaimed, as smiles, photos and

“hoo.” We each grabbed the closest rod and handled

some frosty beverages were exchanged. Next fsh

them with kid gloves. Tim’s fsh was streaking for

was Tim’s turn and it proved to be a nice Fijian sail on

the eastern horizon, mine the western horizon, and

Blowing Bubbles

the same light string. Hmm…Two for two on sails on

Richard’s was heading of the bow. Joe Tuko was

great fshing and diving. The beautiful thing about

light tackle and we are feeling invincible. The tackle

trying to pull the Boone unit out of that hoo’s mouth

scuba diving is if the weather is too sloppy to be out

was working perfectly.

and it came back toward the boat. As Joe yanked the

fshing, diving can provide a great day of adventure.

It was the second day of fshing that the team

It’s rare I get to visit an area in the world that has both

half-eaten teaser from the water, the 25-kg. fsh came

Here at Matava, the underwater world is as good as

would truly hit pay dirt. The weather calmed just

skying after it. The fsh jumped a meter out of the

it gets. As mentioned earlier, it’s world renown for

as weatherbuoy.com had promised, and Adrian

water at lightning speed. It few past the stern and

the exceptional coral condition—the Astrolabe Reef

wasted no time in taking us to the spot we have

missed joining us in the pit by an arm’s length.

is among the fnest coral communities on earth. The

wanted to hit for more than two years—that

An hour later, my Shimano TLD 5 blew up from

variety and quality of the reef environment should

previously mentioned “fshy” ofshore bank 30 miles

spool compaction with my fsh just 15 meters below.

make any traveling angler a candidate for a day or

from Matava. Life on the bank that day wasn’t very

I hand-lined the 4-kg. line and JT gafed it. Tim’s fsh

two of diving here. Not certifed? No worries, Matava

thrilling, as we found slack tide upon our arrival. A

was moments later. Finally, on the gaf and coming

ofers scuba lessons and PADI certifcations. Not into

few small, roving schools of yellowfn chasing bait,

over the rail, it seemed in slow motion, but when

the scuba thing? No worries, Matava has some insane

but so far, no packs of giant wahoo. After an hour

its head cleared the gunwale, we knew it was the

snorkeling just a few hundred meters from the dock.

of no action, we were making plans to head back

one. When it fopped on the deck, the dream was

The diversity of the marine life here is simply


Far left: The author with mate Joe Tuko and a Fijian record sailfsh taken on 8 kg. line. Left: Tim Simpson and Tuko with an IGFA record 31.4-kg. wahoo on 4 kg. line.

When is Light Right? In the last issue of Complete Angler, Nick Honachefsky wrote an editorial headlined “Light Tackle Ethics” that discussed the pitfalls of fshing too light a line for the sake of a line-class record. The problem, he explained, is that such tactics typically result in long fghts that end up costing the life of big-game fsh…often the very breeder fsh we need to perpetuate incredible. Giant mantas are a star attraction, with their graceful fying motion

highly pressured fsh stocks. Bottom line: such ego-driven fshing isn’t smart

and alien-like shape. But there are also butterfy fsh, angelfsh, snappers,

conservation.

groupers, coral trout, barracuda, jacks, barred Spanish mackerel, sea turtles,

This issue, in deciding to run Bill Boyce’s tale about pursuing a 4 kg. line-

soft corals, giant clams, sea anemones, clownfsh, lionfsh and sea snakes. If

class record for wahoo in Fiji, we asked him to provide some perspective on the

you do dive but don’t wish to cart your dive gear halfway around the world,

subject of fshing light tackle. His response, “I don’t really see a confict in Nick’s

no worries…just like the quality of the fshing gear on the BITE ME, the Matava

position and what we were doing in Fiji. We were there targeting a specifc

Resort has excellently maintained scuba gear for rent.

species known to congregate in massive numbers. This allowed us to avoid the

Some of the best dives here are the drift dives, where you are dropped

bycatch issues that can result in unnecessarily killing valuable fsh. Also, wahoo

of at the corner of the open water passages, then drift the walls of these

are an incredibly abundant sportfsh, a common gamefsh in the Atlantic, Pacifc

passages while watching the world go by. Here, the coral is most vibrant

and Indian Oceans. Even if we would have hooked and lost a big breeder fsh that

due to the current, and the fsh are large and more diverse in variety. Water

ultimately died, it would not have a signifcant impact on the overall population.

temperatures range from their coolest 77°F in the Fiji winters (June–August) and warm to 85°F in the Fiji summers (December–March).

Do It All

“Like all fshing,” Boyce continued, “the important thing about using light tackle is to do it responsibly and target the fsh that can best handle the stress. What light tackle fshing does prove is that anglers who do it successfully are those who truly take the sport of fshing to the extreme. They maintain their tackle in its peak condition, their knots meticulously tied, possess an intimate

Whether fshing or diving, Kadavu is an outpost at the edge of a vast and

knowledge of the fsh they are targeting, as well as the fghting strategy of that

vibrant resource, and one of the few places anglers can go to get a taste of

fsh they are targeting, the way it will eat the lure or bait, and the environment in

big-game fshing at its best in the South Pacifc. Whatever your preference—

which the fght will take place.”

chasing marlin or mantas or hooking up on fat wahoo—you need not confne yourself to just one adventure. There’s plenty of reef and fsh to go around.

What do you think? Shoot us an email at editor@GuyHarveyMagazine.com or visit GHM on Facebook to weigh in on the ethics of fshing light.


BY DARYL CARSON

Hi-tech video tools make showing off a great catch more fun than ever. GEARHEADS :

Although history doesn’t record the frst fsh ever pulled from the

done right, blue water fshing certainly

water, we can be sure it was quickly followed by the frst fsh

qualifes as extreme. Numerous

story and subsequent embellishment of the facts. Bragging, it

other camera systems are available

seems, is one of the frst things fshermen learn. In the modern

and most have waterproof housings

era, the smart phone has given this important fshing skill a

available from the manufacturer or

great boost. It lets you take photos of your just-caught fsh and

from aftermarket frms that specialize in

then relentlessly blasts them out to spouses, friends and distant

underwater imaging.

cousins you only “like,” but don’t really know. It’s a beautiful thing. More importantly, technology now lets us do our bragging

If you’re new to capturing video while fshing, then start simple. A single camera—

without also killing fsh that we don’t really need to keep. If you’re

even one placed on your fshing kayak—that can

going to eat it, then by all means, take that smelly thing home and

be easily turned on when a fsh strikes will catch

hoist it under the nose of all your loved ones. If not, get some great

the basic action with little fuss. For more heart-

pics…or better, some great video…and then let the beast go to

thumping footage, it’s best to employ both a topside

breed like mad, grow a little more and become bragging rights for

and underwater camera. The latter can be operated as a

someone else another day.

“pole cam” on the end of a long handle, from an ROV or even

It’s in that spirit that we’ve rounded up some of the coolest video

trolled behind the boat with full view of a billfsh spread. On

tools and accessories made just for fshing. The latest technology

larger boats with multiple crewmembers, it’s also a good idea to

allows fshermen to not only capture the moment when the fsh

designate one person to place, maintain and operate the cameras.

comes out of the water, but also the action under the water. In fact,

Just like any fshing practice, trial and error will bring

with cameras that can be trolled at high-speed, we can even brag

refnement in technique. And, although it’s not discussed in this

about the one that got away. And we can do it in HD.

article, it’s also a good idea to plan to edit the footage you do

Several of the accessories mentioned here are for the

get. This is a must if you use multiple cameras, but even more

GoPro camera systems. The small size, rugged build and solid

importantly than that, no one wants to watch long segments

performance of the GoPro has made it the go-to platform for

of nothing between big strikes. It’s really not bragging if your

capturing footage for all manner of extreme sports. And if it’s

audience goes to sleep.


SeaViewer Used by professional video production crews (Think: “Air Jaws” and “Monster Quest”), the SeaViewer Fast-Troll camera is built specifcally for blue water anglers. Its hydrodynamic design delivers excellent stability, even at trolling speeds up to 15 knots. Five strategically placed grommets allow for attaching towing cable, release clips and additional weight. This trolling camera can also be rigged as a drop cam or pole cam and works with standard monitor and recorder devices, or with SeaViewer monitor and recording devices. The basic kit includes a B&W or color probe (both infrared and low-light capable), 50 feet of cable, cable hand spool and cable clips, 3/4- to 1-inch pole attachment and carrying case. Camera measures seven inches in diameter and 12 inches long. MSRP

795.00

seaviewer.com

GreenFish CPR Mount Specifcally designed for use on boats or kayaks, this fshing-friendly camera mount has a unique expansion locking system that works with standard shaped rod holders and secures a camera quickly and conveniently to any size boat. The mount’s foam-covered handle gives a no-slip grip, and an upper fex arm makes it easy to position a camera at any position or angle desired. The mount attaches to any camera or housing with a tripod ftting and is ideal for use with GoPro video cameras or any small digital system. And, as with all its sales, GreenFish will donate 5% of its revenues to non-profts that promote good conservation and sustainable fshing. MSRP

89.99

greenfshmovement.com

Lifeproof iPad Case An iPad is a great way to review, store and manage video “on the go.” To use it safely on a boat means having some protection. The list of claims by Lifeproof for their new iPad case is staggering: dustproof, shockproof, waterproof and snowproof. More impressive are the technical specs for each of these claims. Without rattling of all the numbers, it means you can literally bury your iPad in the sand at the beach, dig it out and then drop (yes, we said drop) it in the kiddie pool to clean it up. Perhaps most impressive is that this all comes with “Naked Screen Technology,” which simply means there is nothing between your fnger and the touch screen. Ever. The case provides access to all device controls and has a special system to enhance sound from the speakers, so music and videos never sound mufed. MSRP

99.99

lifeproof.com


Aquabotix HydroView An ROV for every boater, the HydroView is a compact unit with a video camera that can be “fown” using the motion control function of an iPad—just move the tablet and it steers the HydroView through the water. The system can also be controlled using a PC or Mac computer and is ideal for hull inspections, checking an anchor or getting a close-up of your favorite fshing reef. The HydroView records live video and captures still images in HD. Includes LED lights, an HD camera, 75-foot cable and waterproof carrying case. Upgrades and accessories, like depth and temperature sensors, are also available. MSRP

3,995.00

aquabotix.com

Biscayne Rod GoPro Handle Made from fve pieces, Biscayne Rod’s fshing-ready GoPro handle stretches to 74.5 inches when assembled, but packs up easily for storage and transport, making it a great tool for that once-in-a-lifetime billfsh trip. The butt cap is a FUJI rubber gimbal, and the rear grip is eight inches long and fts securely in a rod holder for steady shots while on the move. Also included is a 12-inch forward rope handle for a non-skid grip. A universal head is designed to work with any type of mount. MSRP

250.00

biscaynerod.com


TrollPro3 Now in its third generation, the TrollPro housing supports the latest GoPro HD video cameras and all previous models, including accessory backs. This rugged, plastic housing is built to troll behind your boat, capturing your fshing spread and all the action of big strikes. Proven stable at speeds up to 11+ knots, it allows the camera to capture everything in its wide feld of view, and a new Stealth Blue fnish helps it blend into your trolling spread. The housing is normally combined with a 24-oz. trolling weight to keep the camera deeper in the water column. It can also be deployed vertically while fghting a fsh or while jigging. MSRP

149.95 (camera not included)

trollpro.com

Melton Tackle GoPro Boat Stick The GoPro Boat Stick is a racehorse version of the traditional pole cam and is excellent for catching the heart-pounding, underwater action of landing a big fsh. Built on a premium, tapered fberglass blank and ftted with an EVA grip, it is extremely lightweight, durable and efortless to handle. The six-foot length is easy to maneuver in a crowded cockpit and the perfect length for catching action just beneath the waves. Compatible with all HD HERO Original and HD HERO2 cameras. MSRP

119.99

meltontackle.com




GUY HARVEY OUTPOST RESORTS

DARWIN’S BACKYARD BY MARK ELLERT

The Guy Harvey Outpost teams scouts a new

Award-winning Iguana Crossing of Santa Cruz is now a Guy Harvey Outpost Expedition hotel member.

eco-resort location in the Galapagos. I am standing in a feld high atop Isla San Cristobal in the Galapagos Islands. It is a view that seems to stretch from here to the beginning of time. There is a stark line out on the horizon that separates a cloudless blue sky from the dark purple Pacifc Ocean, and there’s no sign of human interaction or intervention. Frigate birds foat in circles overhead and a giant tortoise crawls through the high grass nearby. This place feels so remote and untouched it is both unsettling and exhilarating. I am west of the “continent,” as it’s known way out here, approximately 1,000 kilometers from Ecuador. Looking over the water, it’s easy to imagine a similar

famous publication, On the Origin of Species, our visit is about fnding a way to make that same inspiration available to others. We are here to plan for the new Guy Harvey Outpost Lodge, soon to be built on this highland site.

scene when a young English naturalist and geologist, Charles Darwin, landed

Our adventure began when we departed the continent from Guayaquil,

here aboard the HMS Beagle in 1835. Although Darwin’s visit inspired his most

the only gateway to Galapagos. Ranked the world’s best midsize international


Left: Water taxi deck in the main settlement of Puerto Baquerizo, San Cristobal. Below: The locals—Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Bottom: Site of the future Guy Harvey Outpost Lodge atop Isla San Cristobal. Photos: Guy Harvey Outpost.

tourism company in the Galapagos has a credentialed scientist and conservation authority as its chairman. Dr. Mahmood Shivji of the Guy Harvey Research Institute is along to discuss on-island research initiatives and satellite tagging eforts that can be showcased to the general public and guests in our planned Guy Harvey Discovery Center. The following day we head of to Isabela, the largest of the islands. It has two active volcanoes and only one town. Puerto Villamil boasts a handful of sand streets and 4,000 hardy souls living “of the grid.” We are here to solicit local airport, Airbus 320s sit aligned on the tarmac like track athletes ready for a

hotel owner Felipe, a passionate scuba diver, about becoming a Guy Harvey

90-minute sprint. The fnish line is Baltra Island, where we taxi up to a modern

Outpost Expedition hotel member.

airport terminal. Most visitors disperse immediately to a fotilla of small cruise

His Iguana Crossing hotel is a classic example that Darwin’s theory of the

ships anchored in the adjacent bay. We take a taxi, then boat and a taxi again,

survival of the fttest applies to the resort world. Open less than two years,

arriving an hour later in Puerto Arroyo, the main settlement of Santa Cruz. It’s a

the contemporary hotel is already ranked most popular in the Galapagos by

busy little town. A handful of small hotels and restaurants overlook the harbor.

TripAdvisor, and winner of its 2013 Traveler’s Choice Award. Stylish design and

The main pier buzzes with the goings and comings of colorful water taxis, and

functionality combine to make the Iguana Crossing a supremely comfortable

I’m reminded of the waterfront of St. Mark’s Plaza in Venice with the orchestrated

boutique hotel perfectly situated by a surf break. “I’m never leaving,” I tell my

chaos of gondola and motoscof trafc.

companions. This is paradise found.

The Galapagos archipelago is a national park, administered by the Ecuadorian government from its headquarters on Isla Santa Cruz. The Charles Darwin research station sits at the edge of town. You simply don’t go to Galapagos without visiting this iconic place. Whether by ship or by land, all visitors pass through its doors and learn of Darwin’s work and, of course, the giant Galapagos tortoise. Sadly, Lonesome George, the last tortoise of his particular species has recently passed, thwarting years of eforts by the research station staf to fnd him a suitable mate. We visit with the park director and his staf. They oversee some 97% of the land area comprising the Galapagos. We learn of the many environmental pressures on the Galapagos Islands and also the vast range of scientifc research underway in the archipelago. The entire place is a study in sustainability, and that is one reason it’s a perfect location for a Guy Harvey Outpost resort. We tell our hosts that no other


The beach of Puerto Villamil, Isla Isabela and at the front door of the Iguana Crossing Hotel. Relaxing in the hotel lounge with its panoramic windows onto the beach, our

As we literally fy into day four of our expedition, Isla San Cristobal comes into

host orients us to the colorful history of the island and his hotel project of 14

view. The majestic “Kicker Rock” protrudes from the ocean as if a knife dropped

rooms and suites. I watch guests shufe by with surfboards and GoPro cameras,

by Neptune himself. We drop down into the harbor of Wreck Bay, with the airport

beach towels and Kindle e-readers. On this beautiful afternoon, the pool deck is

at town’s edge. Here, the taxis are small, white pickup trucks, as they are on all

busy and the game room is understandably dark.

the islands. Five minutes and we’re on the malecon, the harbor-front promenade,

Felipe takes us on a tour. The guestrooms ofer the best in convenience and comfort. Their size and handsome interiors are overwhelmed by the picture frame views of the beach beyond. We make our way to the roof terrace. A jacuzzi

where shop owners are getting ready for the day. Dive shops compete with surf shops and the occasional internet café. We ramble on for the eight or so blocks, past the park benches with their

hums quietly so as not to disturb those who have taken refuge here on the

remarkable guests. Sea lions…hundreds of sea lions are everywhere. They are

sundeck, with its small cocktail bar. We can see the Wolf volcano in the distance,

sleeping on the benches, waddling down the boardwalk, resting in the shade

just where the beach begins to disappear into the mist. Of toward town, a small

under the stairs. Yes, they were here frst. As with all wildlife in the Galapagos,

cruise ship is anchored of the reef. It is likely a dive live-aboard, as Isabela is one

the lack of human predation allows a truly unique interaction with the animals.

of the top dive and snorkeling destinations in the Galapagos.

Of course, look-but-don’t-touch is the rule here.

Daylight wanes and the lounge becomes a beehive of activity. The dining

We turn away from the harbor and make our way to the “interpretive center.”

room flls with guests. The chef has become something of a celebrity by bringing

There, we learn of geology and ecology, of the eccentric and hardy settlers

international cuisine to this sleepy little beach town. I’m told the party moves

who made this collection of oceanic hardscrabble a place called home. Next

back into town as the moon rises. Tonight, though, we decide to sleep, for

door, we visit with students and faculty at the University of San Francisco, a

tomorrow our expedition must move along. The next day, Felipe drives us to

private Quito-based institution that operates a science research center with

our waiting plane and, yes, he’s onboard. The Guy Harvey Outpost fag has been

the help of the University of North Carolina. Here, tagging of sea turtles is a

planted on Isabela.

major ongoing project.


Hi--I’m Mark Nichols, fishing finatic first, and owner of DOA Lures second. I design lures because of my love of fishing...certainly not to get rich. My inspirations for designs come from time on the water, not time in the office. I could be (monetarily) wealthier by hanging out at DOA World Headquarters, copying other manufacturers’ products and sending my designs outside the U.S. to be produced; however, that would just not be me--

I define wealth by how happy I am. I consider myself very wealthy. Also, I hire Americans to supply my materials and to produce my lures and apparel. I choose to do this for my peace of mind and for my family...those at home and those at work. Fishing is therapy. Go get some today.

www.doalures.com Toll-Free 1-877-362-5873 Fishing boat along the harbor-front of San Cristobal. We then head into the highlands, 500 meters above the town. The one and only main road that stretches ahead into the clouds is our route to a

Value,Versatility and a Lifetime Warranty

new destination. We pass a freshwater lake that flls an ancient volcano and

SG

continue our climb. At the crest, the lush, green vegetation falls away and the Pacifc comes into view. This is our site. This is where we will build the Guy

(small game)

Harvey Outpost Lodge.

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We spend the next three days walking the high ridge, drawing plans for where and how to create a new eco-lodge. We settle on the location of the Guy Harvey Discovery Center. We decide to orient the lobby over a ravine for a dramatic arrival experience. We plan to tuck the guest villas into

LG

the hillside for privacy and unobstructed views. We sketch out the social lounge and restaurant with an outdoor deck and infnity pool, framed by the ocean beyond. A spa and yoga center will sit at the end of a trail, settled among the hillside trees and Miconia fowers. After a week of touring and working, with new partnerships created and a plan in place, this expedition comes to a close. The sun begins to slip below the ocean in front of us. Tomorrow we will head back to the

(large game)

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continent and go to work. The Guy Harvey Outpost Lodge of San Cristobal will begin its own evolution…one that should allow the island to keep inspiring everyone that lands on its shores. Visit GuyHarveyOutpost.com.

Tel: +1.804.453.3095 www.RELEASEREELS.com Email: info@releasereels.com


GUY HARVEY RESEARCH INSTITUTE

MAKO CHRONICLES BY DR. MAHMOOD SHIVJI & DARYL CARSON

Tracking one of the fastest sharks in the world. For any angler who has tangled with a shortfn mako, they know the power of

Commercially, makos are most often taken as bycatch in longline and drift gillnet

these incredible sharks. The largest animals reach a length of more than 12 feet,

operations, where they are kept for their high quality meat and fns. The number

and makos are known for impressive acrobatics during a fght, often putting

of makos killed per year around the world is unknown, but fshing pressure on

on a series of leaps that can take them 10 to 20 feet out of the water. Makos are

their populations is believed to be huge. Research by the Guy Harvey Research

also considered among the fastest, if not the fastest, of sharks. Although there is

Institute (GHRI), in collaboration with Dr. Shelley Clarke, has estimated that a

no defnitive answer, various researchers have estimated these torpedo-shaped

median of about half a million mako sharks were utilized in the global shark fn

animals can reach a top speed between 30 and 65 mph when accelerating to

trade as of the year 2000.

capture prey. For the record, that’s faster than Congress can vote itself a pay raise. But makos seem to be designed for high speed swimming—they have

Despite the heavy commercial bycatch of makos and their popularity among sport fshermen, good information on the biology of these sharks to aid in

a highly streamlined shape with a conical snout, large gills for efcient gas

management is surprisingly sparse. However, current research does suggest

exchange and a prominent fattened keel at the posterior end of the trunk

that mako numbers in parts of their range are in decline. This is of concern for

that is believed to strengthen the tail for powerful movements. Unlike most sharks, makos and their kin (e.g., white sharks,

Researchers are amazed at not only the incredible distances Carol has traveled, but also the travel pattern itself.

salmon sharks) have

many reasons, including the fact that makos are clearly toplevel predators in the ocean, likely giving them an important ecosystem role. Stomach content analysis has shown that smaller sharks, swordfsh, billfsh, turtles and bony fshes are all part of the mako diet. Just like other highly migratory species, the efective management of makos is a challenge, because it increases the difculty of assessing population numbers, and because

adaptations that allow them to maintain parts of their body, including muscles, at

applying conservation measures requires the coordinated eforts of multiple

temperatures several degrees above ambient seawater. This is believed to be part

nations or user groups. Details of mako migratory patterns in diferent parts

of the reason why makos can achieve such high swimming speeds. And, not to

of their global range remain largely unknown, adding to the difculties of

carry the political analogy too far, but unlike some politicians, this suggests makos

formulating efective management and conservation plans. The good news is that

are not completely “cold blooded.”

information coming in from new tracking studies is helping to solve this problem.

From a fshing and conservation perspective, makos are no less intriguing.

In New Zealand, a study co-sponsored by the GHRI, New Zealand National

With a global range, and a high quality meat, these sharks are popular in both

Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research and New Zealand Ministry for

commercial and sport fshing. They have been referred to as one of the great

Primary Industries placed a satellite “SPOT” tag on a six-foot juvenile female mako

gamefshes of the world due to their feisty nature when hooked on rod and reel.

dubbed “Carol.” Carol has provided almost daily, good quality detections for her


Carol the New Zealand Mako has amazed researchers with the speed and distance of her travels.

whereabouts for more than eight months now (and counting) providing a high-

These global

resolution view of her travels. Researchers are amazed at not only the incredible

combined studies should

distances Carol has traveled, but also the travel pattern itself. She has covered over

provide an interesting,

13,000 km. (over 8,000 miles) in about eight months, showing speeds of up to 60

comparative view of

miles per day. And none of this travel was at taxpayer’s expense.

mako movements.

Tagged of the northern New Zealand coast, Carol swam north for two weeks,

The information should increase our biological knowledge of these amazing

covering half the distance to Fiji, before doubling back and hanging out in Kiwi

sharks and help provide regulators with the information they need for efective

waters for almost two months and before re-launching and completing her trip to

management and conservation eforts. And, with continued success, perhaps

Fiji then returning to eastern coast of New Zealand in just two and a half months.

similar tracking techniques can be applied to a few worthy public servants.

Carol’s remarkable movements can be followed on the interactive GHRI tracking website (www.nova.edu/~johnmaƩ/makosharks.htm).Based on the success of this pilot study with Carol, GHRI and New Zealand collaborators are

Fiji

expanding this study by tagging more makos here to get a solid idea of their migratory patterns in relation to New Zealand’s territorial waters. Somewhat closer to home, the GHRI team has also been tracking makos to understand their movement behaviors in our part of the world. As part of this study, Dr. Guy Harvey recently deployed two pop-up satellite tags on makos of Isla Mujeres, Mexico. The tags stayed on for two-and-a-half and fve months, and showed both sharks migrating into the western and northern Gulf of Mexico, respectively. Additional SPOT and pop-up tags will be deployed of Isla Mujeres this spring with Captain Anthony Mendillo of Keen

Check out Carol’s track at

M International, and of Maryland this summer with Captain Mark Sampson

nova.edu/~johnmatt/makosharks.htm

of Fish Finder Adventures.

and her round trip from New Zealand to Fiji.

New Zealand


MEET THE CHEF

SERIOUS ABOUT SEAFOOD BY GHM STAFF

Michael Howell is a renowned Canadian chef and vocal advocate for sustainable seafood and ethical eating. His cooking career has taken him all across North America, and his latest restaurant, Tempest, is in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, one of the hottest food and wine regions in the country. Now in its tenth year, Tempest is among the most well known restaurants in Canada. Michael is also the leader of Slow Food Nova Scotia, part of Slow Food International, a 100,000-member global organization centered on the belief that we need to consume and support good, clean, fair food, produced ethically and with respect for the earth. Earlier this year, Michael also received the distinguished Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal from the government of Canada for his contributions to the country in the food movement. Chef Michael has a special passion for seafood, and he credits it largely to his DNA— both his father and grandfather plied the North Atlantic as professional fshermen— and the fact that he spent his childhood on the shores of Nova Scotia. As a young man, though, Michael chose acting as an early career. After graduating from Dalhousie University, he worked in Toronto as an actor and director, but got his frst taste of the restaurant world while waiting tables to supplement his income. After nearly a decade, the newly married Howell moved to Chicago and decided it was time for a change. He entered the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago and after graduation, he began building his culinary career, working in well-regarded restaurants in Chicago, Detroit, Boston and New York before moving to the Bahamas in 1999. For three years, while serving as executive chef at the Green Turtle Club, his fnely honed skills were unleashed on a fresh and plentiful supply of local seafood, and the GTC was recognized as the “Best Restaurant in the Bahamas” by the Nassau Wine and Food Society. Having recently sold Tempest, Chef Michael is heading back to the Green Turtle Club (greenturtleclub.com), where he will spend several months each year as the consulting executive chef, creating new seafood delicacies. His cookbook, Atlantic Seafood, is available from Nimbus Publishing (nimbus.ca).

Chef Michael Howell | Green Turtle Club | Bahamas


The Fishery in San Diego

Seared Tuna with Saffron, Tomato and Olive Oil Ragout

Combine all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan on the stove. Bring to a boil, reduce heat

Ragout

Seared Tuna

to low, then simmer 5 minutes, or until tomatoes and onions are softened. Reserve warm.

½ tsp (2 ml) safron threads

2 lbs (900 g) centre-cut tuna loin, cut into six portions, about ¾” (2 cm) thick

4 ripe tomatoes, seeded and quartered

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 roasted red peppers, peeled and seeded

1½ cups (300 ml) + 2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil

2 marinated artichoke hearts, roughly chopped

6 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

1 red onion, sliced 4 green or black olives, pitted and roughly chopped

Rub the tuna loin pieces with 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of the olive oil and season them with salt and

3 cloves garlic, minced

pepper. Marinate for 1 hour. In a heavy, cast iron pan, over high heat, sear the tuna until

2 Tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice

it is browned and almost crispy on one side, about 2 minutes. Flip over and repeat on the

½ cup (100 ml) white wine

other side. Remove from heat. Do not overcook. Cut each tuna portion in half, exposing

½ cup (100 ml) extra virgin olive oil

the rare center and crispy crust. Arrange the pieces in the middle of a plate. Add the basil

6 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

to the ragout, reheat briefy, and then drizzle the sauce over the fsh and around the plate.

Salt and pepper, to taste

Serve immediately.


for 1-2 minutes, or

1 Tbsp (15 ml) Dijon mustard

until they are open,

1 cup (200 ml) ripe mango, fnely diced

whichever comes

Liberal dashes of Caribbean hot sauce, or Tabasco

frst. Be careful not

Salt and pepper, to taste

to overcook them.

2 cups (500 ml) + ½ cup (100 ml) panko or

Remove the lid; add

regular breadcrumbs

the cooked pasta,

Linguini with Littlenecks and Garlic

tomato, and parsley

Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

and enough of

Add the shallot, peppers, hot pepper, red onion

the reserved pasta

and ginger. Sweat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and

water to make a

cook for 2 more minutes. Remove to a large bowl

loose broth. Stir

and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Add the remaining

in the remaining

ingredients to the bowl, reserving ½ cup (100 ml)

olive oil, add salt and pepper as desired, and divide

of breadcrumbs. Fold the crab cake mixture gently,

immediately among 6 plates or bowls. Pour any of

trying not to break up the lumps of crabmeat too

the broth remaining in the skillet over the pasta.

much. After the mixture is thoroughly combined,

16 oz (500 g) fresh linguini or other long pasta

Italians do not typically add parmigiano or Parmesan

refrigerate for one hour. Remove the crab cake

1 tsp (5 ml) + 1 tsp (5 ml) + 2 tsp (10 ml) extra

cheese to seafood dishes, but should you desire,

mixture from the fridge. Spread the remaining

virgin olive oil

please do so.

100 ml of breadcrumbs on a cookie sheet. Form

8 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp (5 ml) chile fakes 2¼ lbs (1 kg) fresh littleneck or mahogany clams (or other small hard shell clams), washed

the crab mixture into balls slightly larger than golf

Spicy Caribbean Crab Cakes

thoroughly

balls, and then fatten them out so that each cake resembles a small hockey puck. Dredge all sides in the breadcrumbs. (You can reserve the crab cakes for cooking later, as they can be refrigerated for up to

1 cup (200 ml) white wine

2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive or vegetable oil

24 hours.) There are 2 options for cooking the cakes:

1 Tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice

1 shallot, peeled and chopped

You can bake them in a 425°F (220°C) oven for 12-15

1 large fresh, ripe tomato, peeled, seeded and

1 medium red pepper, fnely diced

minutes, fipping them after 8 minutes, or you can

diced

1 medium yellow pepper, fnely diced

pan-fry or deep-fry the cakes in 360°F (180°C) oil until

3 Tbsp (45 ml) chopped Italian parsley

1 large jalapeno or red fnger pepper, chopped

golden brown and crunchy, about 3 minutes.

and seeds removed (or left in depending on heat Fill a large pot with salted water and 1 tsp (5 ml) of

preference)

olive oil. Add the linguini and boil until cooked. Al

1 small red onion,

dente (frm, but not hard) consistency is desired, as

peeled and fnely diced

you will cook the pasta some more with the clams.

¾” (2 cm) ginger, peeled

When the pasta is cooked, drain it, but reserve 2

and fnely chopped

cups of the cooking water. Toss the noodles with

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp (5 ml) of olive oil to keep them from sticking

1 lb (500 g) cooked

and reserve them nearby in a large metal bowl.

lump rock crab or snow

In a large skillet able to hold the pasta, warm the

crabmeat

remaining 2 tsp (10 ml) of olive oil and add the garlic,

4 Tbsp (60 ml) chopped

chile fakes, and clams, and cook over medium heat,

cilantro

stirring regularly for 3-4 minutes, or until the clams

1 cup (250 ml)

just start to open. Add the wine and lemon juice and

mayonnaise

cover the skillet with a lid or foil. Steam the clams

2 eggs, lightly beaten


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LAST CAST

HOOKED ON SMILES Of the world’s greatest lost treasures—the golden Aztec

much to ourselves, stretches the entire length of the resort

kingdom, the city of Atlantis and common sense in

and has all the toys—volleyball, horseshoes, snorkeling

government—there’s one that may be even harder to

gear, and even freshwater showers to rinse of those pesky

fnd…a teenager’s smile. It’s a treasure, for sure, that even a

grains of sand and salt from our scorched skin.

parent’s devoted love may not be able to unlock. But I had a key, or to be exact, a caye, called Grand Bahama. I kind of fgured a few days on a tropical island might

For the past 25 years, Fred D.

was gin clear, calm and ofered up lots of critters with which

reset the teenager button and push a smile or two out of

to mingle. We saw tons of big starfsh, some barracuda,

my 17-year-old daughter, Teal. She’s a self-motivated teen

quite a few turtles and lots of tropical fsh. On the second

with an outstanding GPA, so my wife and I don’t have a lot

day, a local fsherman pulled up to the shoreline in his

to complain about. But I still miss her wonderful dentistry-

bright yellow, 22-foot boat and started showing of a bunch

enhanced grin. Of course, it’s not as if Teal walks around

of fresh lobster and conch he’d harvested that morning.

scowling all the time. She laughs a lot with her friends.

FRED GARTH

We quickly melted into the beach life, rotating between suntanning, snorkeling, swimming and eating. The water

But I was shooting for the “parent-induced” smile. With all due respect to Grand Bahama, there

“Just calm down and cast like you did before we saw the fish,” Tommy said.

Garth’s articles have appeared in

are many dozens of tropical islands that will evoke

numerous books, magazines and

a blissful, blue-water state of happiness. Ours just

newspapers around the world.

happened to be GB because it’s an easy 30-minute

Read his blog at:

hopper fight from Miami, and I managed to arrange a sweet

After a quick negotiation, I bought three lobsters and three

GuyHarveyMagazine.com.

travel-writer lodging discount at the Old Bahama Bay Club.

conchs for about what I’d pay for one lobster back home

I wasn’t really sure if the OBB was a laid-back beach

and delivered the goods to Jesse, the resort’s friendly

hotel or a mega-Atlantis-style amusement park resort until

cook. As I waited at the bar sipping a tasty rum and coke,

I browsed the photo gallery and marveled at their upscale,

Jesse created a seafood feast with rice and beans, fresh

pastel, beachfront townhomes and landscaping that

vegetables, potatoes and the works. I had positioned myself

compares to Hawaii. My prediction was that Mama and

so I could see my family’s hungry faces as they entered the

the kids would be happy. As it turned out, Old Bahama Bay

room. One look at the food festival Jesse had prepared was

was a perfect family getaway. Oh, and it’s a member of the

all it took—their eyes sparkled and wide smiles popped out

Guy Harvey Outpost family, so it has Guy’s personal stamp

all around, even on Jesse! Success was mine.

of approval. OBB is literally at the western tip of Grand Bahama, far

The “hook it and cook it” option is something the restaurant does regularly. It’s perfect for guests and the boat

away from the hustle and bustle of the island’s town center

people who visit OBB’s deep-water marina. Because of its

of Freeport and Lucaya. The beach, which we had pretty

proximity only 68 miles from the Florida mainland and its


a convenient customs checkpoint for boats entering

The Port Lucayan Marketplace

the Bahamas. There were a couple of mega yachts

In my several decades of travel writing, I’ve visited

slumming it, along with a dozen or so 30- to 60- foot

at least 100 or so tropical islands—from Grand

sportfshers who were hanging out for a few days

Cayman to St. Vincent to a little place called Yap

fshing, enjoying the beach and enlisting Jesse to

in Micronesia—and they each have their quirks.

keep their bellies happy.

Grand Bahama is no diferent. Sure, it’s a hot tourism

incredibly well protected and fortifed marina, OBB is a haven for yachters and sportfshing boats. It’s also

After a couple of days eating, snorkeling, beach

spot and cruise ship destination, but GB also has a

slugging and fight-testing the hammock, I could

serious business résumé. It’s a tax-free haven (you

sense a shopping vibe emerging and another

can’t miss the signs); the Freeport Container Port

opportunity for happy faces. Living with three

is a worldwide shipping hub; the Grand Bahama

females has given me a bit of intuition, too. Grand

Shipyard builds, converts and repairs massive ships,

Bahama is long (or grand, I suppose) and a good 80

including cruise ships for the likes of Holland America

miles from tip to tip, so we devoted an entire day to

and Carnival; and there are some monster residential

Clockwise from top left: Old Bahama Bay’s townhome-

shopping and exploring the island. I rallied the girls

developments. But we hit the town for wild

style accommodations. Adia Garth, 12, holding her

to a bright and early start around 11am and packed

shopping, and the Port Lucayan Marketplace ft the

dinner. Teal Garth performs a teenage balancing act at

the snorkeling gear just in case. We piled into the

bill. The place takes up a few city blocks and borders

Lucayan National Park.

tiny rental car, which was more like a toaster with

the Lucayan Harbor. While I found other activities

wheels, and pointed to the big city. Teal kept asking

to occupy my time, the girls charged ahead into a

if she could drive, to which I replied, “Maybe…in

mass of local street vendors, jewelry stores, leather

the parking lot.” They drive on the left side of the

shops, clothing stores and plenty of restaurants. I

road in the Bahamas and most intersections have

was enjoying my second ice-cold Kalik when the

“roundabouts” rather than stoplights, so it’s confusing,

girls emerged grinning, squeaking like dolphins and

even for an old, dyslexic, left-hander like me. So my

riding the smile train. The 22 muscles it takes to grin

parenting sensors pretty much shut her down.

were working overtime.


Two hours pressing against the heated crowd

I have this thing about circumnavigating islands,

want to dance. And they have these things called

had them longing for another breezy beach, and I

so I had my sights set on McLean’s Town at the far

panny cakes that I could eat all night.”

had my eye on the Lucayan National Park toward the

eastern end. I was also trying to connect with a

east end of the island. There’s not only a gorgeous

fshing guide. But my chances of convincing a tired

and learned the trade from his dad, who passed last

and ridiculously remote beach, but the park has some

family were looking grim. So I lured them to a little

year at the age of 91. During his life, Bonefsh Folley

caverns leading into some of the most extensive

beach bar called Bishops at High Bluf, which is

fshed with many celebrities and two absolutely

underwater cave systems in the world. The cave tour

only 10 miles from McLean’s Town. The plan was to

legendary human beings: Ernest Hemingway and

takes all of about 20 minutes, if you linger. There are

enjoy the afternoon sun and convince them to go

Martin Luther King. (He also took Richard Nixon

steps leading into the caverns and platforms to check

the distance. I’m used to getting outvoted three-

fshing.) There’s even a song about Bonefsh Folley

out the crystal-clear water. The underground rivers

to-one so I didn’t kick and scream too much when

that still plays on radio stations in the Bahamas.

are freshwater and stay cool year-round. Crazed cave

they overruled my brilliant plan. I agreed…on one

Tommy is a bit of a legend himself and I was not

divers have explored deep under the island and have

condition: that we grab dinner at a local juke joint

about to miss a chance at catching a big one. Details

not yet found the end. The weirdest part is that they

called the Chicken Nest.

on that later.

Tommy’s been guiding for three or four decades

connect to the ocean somewhere so saltwater fsh

I’d found out about the Chicken Nest from

We made it to the Chicken Nest in West End

have found their way into the caves. It’s strange but

Tommy Rolle, who also goes by Tommy Folley, after

around dark thirty. It’s a tiny, cinderblock place just

also beautiful, because in the islands, fresh water is a

his father who is the Bahamas most noted bonefsh

a long cast from the water. The parking lot was jam-

priceless commodity.

legend, Bonefsh Folley.

packed with all of about 20 cars. Music was blasting

The beach at the park was a virtual smile factory. God built this place in such a way to inspire awe into

“The best conch fritters you’ll ever taste,” he said. “And, they make a pan-fried fsh that will make you

so loud I saw plaster cracking of the outside walls. This was not a tourist restaurant. In fact, I might have

even the most jaded teen. As soon as we broke through the foliage, we were mesmerized

Cell Phones

by the deep azure and pale

Unless you have an international plan, you’ll get crushed

blues of the ocean. We didn’t

in cell phone roaming charges. Phone calls are $2/minute,

swim. We didn’t snorkel. We

incoming texts are a nickel and outgoing texts are 50 cents.

just kind of stumbled around

I made everyone turn of their phones, but we were able to

in the shallow water and

use them and the computer on Wi-Fi at the Old Bahama Bay

soaked in the natural beauty

Club. Ever the cheapskate, I bought a pair of $25 water-

surrounding us.

resistant walkie-talkies with a 20-mile range. They worked perfectly and came in very handy on numerous occasions.


Paradise Cove After a few days, we’d pretty much snorkeled everything around the Old Bahama Bay, so we headed 10 miles down east to Paradise Cove where, for $3 bucks per snorkeler, we were granted entry into a vibrant ecosystem of hard and soft corals. We ended up going to the Cove twice and both times encountered majestic spotted eagle rays. They also have a hopping little beach bar and grill with good cracked conch,

Opposite, clockwise from top left: Teal contemplates

other fried goodies, cold beer, mixed drinks, ice cream—pretty much anything you need to wash the salt

Grand Bahamas’ extensive underwater freshwater

water out of your mouth. It’s a nice, half-day trip and highly recommended from a guy who has been scuba

cave systems. Smiles became more frequent by the day.

diving and snorkeling all over the planet.

Ordering treats at the Paradise Cove fry shack. This page: The beach at Old Bahama Bay faces northeast and remains calm most of the time and the landscaping may prompt your spouse to buy you some garden shears when you return home.

been their frst. Not being the shy type, I stepped out and walked up to two guys standing on the porch drinking a beer. The girls elected to stay in the car. “Is this the Chicken Nest?” I asked. There wasn’t a sign. “Yeah, man,” they said. “Tommy Rolle told me the food here is excellent.” “True that, braddah, but you better get in there and order quick. The line’s getting longer.” They weren’t kidding. A dozen or so folks were jammed at the counter window yelling above the music, things like “conch frittas” and “fry fsh.” I joined in, screamed out my order and hoped she understood me. Then I waited. And waited. After 30 minutes, my family started to wonder what had happened to me. But those guys were right, it was wall-to-wall locals inside and the little bitty kitchen was pumping out food as fast as it could. When I fnally came out with the goods, Teal said she thought they had kidnapped me or something. “You’ve been watching too much CSI Miami,” I told her. “I just made 50 new friends and they invited us to a party in Eight Mile Rock later tonight.” A wide smile slid across her face. This was getting easier by the day. Back at OBB, we laid into that food like a pack of starving dogs. It was some of the best fsh I’ve ever tasted and we all ate our fll, giggled a lot and collapsed in our beds.


The Atlantic Ocean is the best pool around but fresh water is fun too.

Fishing with the New Legend

saw the fsh,” he said. “Don’t panic, there are lots of

took the hook and bolted like bones do. She stripped

bonefsh out here.”

out 200 feet of line and put up a valiant fght, but I

His advice was excellent but a couple of cold

Tommy Rolle Folley is one of those laid-back guys

brewskis would have helped. That’s when he told

who becomes an instant friend. He keeps his fats

me about the Chicken

boat under his house, which is across the street from

Nest. He was saying,

the boat launch and about fve minutes from prime

“…and they

bonefsh grounds. I’m a fairly profcient fy fsherman

have these things

and Tommy checked out my motion before he

called panny cakes

decided where to go. Within 10 minutes of leaving

that will…oh, look

the launch, I was staring down a group of three

right there, 10 o’clock.

monster bones easing toward the bow of Tommy’s

It’s a big one.”

17-foot Maverick. “Throw now!” he said. “NOW!” I lifted the rod and

Maybe it was the thought of panny

lost all sense of coordination. My heart was jumping

cakes and conch

around in my chest and my arms were acting like

fritters that calmed

twigs in a hurricane. Tommy’s hand-tied fy ended

my nerves. I pumped

up in my left butt cheek. Needless to say, I missed

the line twice and

the fsh, and the next one, and the next. I’d become a

presented the fy a

pitiful, helpless angler and Tommy just giggled at my

couple a feet in front

ineptitude.

of that dude’s nose. It

“Just calm down and cast like you did before we

was all over. The bone

landed the fsh and Tommy gently released the big seven-pounder. Ten minutes later, he spotted another

Tommy Rolle Folley is a bonefsh legend in his own right.


beast. I was in sync and nailed it. This one fought so hard I had to take two Advil later that night. It weighed in over 11 pounds, a personal record, and a fne fsh. As we headed back to the dock, I didn’t know what Teal was doing, but I know I had a smile going like I haven’t had in a long time. Suddenly it hit me. I’d been successful in bringing smiles to Teal’s face, but maybe I was the one who needed it the most. I think they call that serendipity. Success was mine.

For information on a trip to Grand Bahama, contact the Bahamas Tourism Agency at bahamas. com. To book a trip to Old Bahama Bay, visit OldBahamaBay.com or call 888.800.8959. For more information on all the Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts, visit GuyHarveyOutpost.com.

The author caught this personal best, 11-pound bonefsh and is still smiling about it.


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