After nearly a year, Costa Rica and remaining countries of Central America have approved an agreement with The Billfish Foundation (TBF) to create a sustainable management plan for billfish and other popular game fish vital to growing sport fishing and tourism in the region. In Jan, 2009, the TBF successfully reached a ban on exporting billfish meat.
The agreement between TBF and the Organization of Fisheries and Aquaculture for the Isthmus of Central America (OSPESCA) was signed by OSPESCA President Steadman Fagoth Muller, of Nicaragua, and Nelson (scientific director for TBF). OSPESCA Executive Director Mario Gonzalez Recino presided over the ceremony and along with Nelson presented the Nicaraguan Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture with a computer and programs for use in collecting, managing, and analyzing sport fisheries data such as the migratory habits of sailfish, marlin, dorado and swordfish and to protect billfish mainly from over fishing by commercial interests, while implementing tag & release programs for sportsmen. Costa Rica sport fishing captains for years have honored the catch and release fishing.
This is a “win-win for all,” said Nelson. “Billfish have a very high potential in these waters and high economic and social value if the responsible practice of sport fishing ethics and conservation are fostered.”
Download or View the agreement in PDF.
Blog material supplied on 3/10/2009 – by TBF PR counsel – Pete Johnson, Johnson Communications