What is it?
The IGFA Great Marlin Race (IGMR) is a partnership between IGFA and Stanford University that pairs recreational anglers with cutting-edge science to learn more about the basic biology of marlin and how they utilize the open ocean habitat. The goal of the program is to deploy 50 pop up archival tags (PAT) (Click here) in marlin at billfish tournaments around the world each year. This effort will increase understanding of distribution, population structure and biology of marlin and engage anglers and the general public in the research process. By increasing our understanding of where these animals go and how they use the pelagic ecosystem, we will provide valuable information to the resource managers and policy makers responsible for ensuring their long-term conservation.
For further information please visit the IGFA Great Marlin Race website (Click here).
How will the tagging data be used?
Tag sponsors, anglers and the general public will be able to view the migration routes of tagged marlin through Google Earth-enabled maps on the IGMR website where pop-up tag locations and animal tracks are displayed. In addition, all tag data will be available to scientists and fisheries managers via an open access system. The tag data generated from this program will improve our understanding of billfish migratory behaviors in several ocean basins simultaneously, and improve our understanding of the underlying oceanographic features that shape the connectivity of populations across the globe. This type of information can then be used to enact better international conservation measures for marlin around the world.
Partnership with Stanford University
Dr. Barbara Block’s team at Stanford University has been a world leader in biologging science for the last two decades. They have successfully developing two flagship programs; Tag-A- Giant (TAG), a project that has tagged more than 1,200 bluefin tuna in the Atlantic; and Tagging of Pacific Predators (TOPP), an international program completed under the Census of Marine Life that has recorded 4,800 tag deployments on 37 different marine species in the Pacific. The Block Lab was also instrumental in developing the original Great Marlin Race that was initiated in 2009 by Dr. Block and IGFA representative, Robert Kurz with the guidance of Peter Fithian, IGFA Trustee and Chairman of the HIBT, to commemorate the 50th year of the HIBT.