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Recreational Fish Regulation By Offshore/Inshore Species - use at your own risk



  • OldSaltOldSalt Posts: 129 Deckhand
    e-money wrote: »
    Head's up on rule concerning sailfish

    Captain Pat Price (Daymaker) forwarded a Billfish Foundation press release today.
    Sharing to give everybody a heads up about a sailfish regulation as these regs can be confusing and change often!

    For sails and billfish we have always advocated a "leave em in the water for photo or video" policy.
    I did not know until recently it was illegal to remove any billfish from water !
    (according to Nmfs and Billfish foundation...)

    One thing I don't like w new law is they require you to HARVEST / KILL any Billfish removed from the water for photo. I suppose they think requiring people to kill legal sails or marlin makes them think about removing them from water??


    Did you know that removing a billfish from the water not only causes unnecessary harm to the fish, but in the Atlantic it is illegal to remove any highly migratory fish from the water that is not harvested. Learn how to ensure safe, healthy billfish release and still get great pictures of your catch without harming the fish.

    Keep Them in the Water and Keep Them Alive

    Can you remember the first billfish you caught? For those lucky enough to have caught a marlin, sailfish, or swordfish, the memory of the first billfish is perhaps one of the most coveted experiences for any angler. For most, it’s a memory full of the smell of diesel, spray of the water, and sore arms pumping as the captain backs down on a lit up fish, greyhounding and fighting with all its might. Although a memory that will last forever, many anglers want a photo with their first billfish. Pulling billfish out of the water is illegal in U.S. Atlantic waters unless the fish is going to be harvested. Unfortunately, more and more photos of people holding up sailfish or small marlin or stretching them across the covering boards are posted on websites, sent via social media and published in fishing magazines.

    Removing billfish from the water puts additional stress on their body after the initial stress caused by the fight. Contact with the fish removes the slime that protects it from parasites and infections. Just like a person whose immune system is weakened after a hectic or traumatic experience, billfish are more susceptible to infections or diseases when stressed. A billfish’s skeleton is designed for buoyant conditions of the ocean, so when removed from the water the skeleton and internal organs come under the strain of gravity, which can cause serious harm to the fish. While some research is complete on the effects non-offset circle hooks have in reducing billfish post release mortality, less research is complete on assessing effects of fight times and other fishing stressors. In studies by students at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) 22 pop-up satellite archival tags (PSATs) were deployed on white marlin caught using circle hooks. As part of the study, blood samples were taken from the fish requiring removal of the marlin from the water. Data from the PSATs indicated that 21% of those white marlin died immediately after release. In a separate, similar study also conducted by VIMS, 30 white marlin were tagged withoutbeing removed from the water and resulted in only 2% post release mortality. It was hypothesized that the significantly different mortality rates could be due to the additional stress put on the white marlin when removed from the water. It’s also interesting to note that the white marlin that did not survive, did not experience the longest fight times. Researchers hypothesize that a short fight time before being removed from the water for blood samples may be equivalent to a human sprinting for as long and hard as possible, then being forced to hold their breath! Results from PSATs studies also show that it can take billfish as long as 14 days to recover and resume normal behavior.
    It is well known that stress caused by fight time makes a fish more vulnerable to predation and commercial fishing pressure. Anglers should strive to keep the billfish from getting injured, especially when deploying a $4,000 PSAT, to gather valuable data. The scientists took every precaution during the research to ensure the survival of the fish, but even so some died, perhaps due to the additional stress from being hauled aboard a boat, being deprived of oxygen and having blood taken.

    For anglers, the condition of the hooked billfish should be a priority. Injury can be mitigated by using non-offset, circle hooks with all natural baits, proper hook removal, and using tackle to match the size of your query. Taking the time to rig baits, spectacular boat handling, and world-class angling is all null if the fish is pulled from the water and injured.

    Photo Courtesy of Brittney Novalsky

    If an angler wants a photo with his or her fish, TBF recommends safe handling practices be followed. Once the fish is alongside the boat, keep it in gear with the fish’s lower jaw in the water to ensure oxygenated water passes over the gills. Then the angler can lean over the gunnel while someone snaps photos. Taking the time to ensure a safe release is the mark of a real sportsman, not just the number of flags flying from outriggers, or pictures on a wall. The next time someone wants to pull a billfish out of the water for a photo, ask that person if the photo is worth the life of the fish. A photo may be worth a thousand words, but it is not worth killing a billfish.
  • TeleseTelese Posts: 162 Deckhand
    Hard work put in is appreciated by many! The more we all know the better.
  • Reel Gator 2Reel Gator 2 Posts: 139 Deckhand
    Actually folks that grab snook and hold them for pics don't realize the damage that can be done to the organs of snook, tarpon and many others....handling a trout is their death sentence since their slime is rubbed off and your hand print will cause an infection most likely.
  • BarrellBarrell Posts: 1,256 Officer

    @snook87 said:
    Just download the fish rules app and it updates all the time and tell you,by your current location, the limits and season.

    x2, The "fish rules" app is the official app for the SAMF

  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 12,703 AG

    Thanks for putting that out there I appreciate it. Copied and pasted and emailed to myself so it's readily available on my phone. I may print it and laminate it.

    If anyone wants to add sharks..:)

    You don't need fun to have alcohol
  • evernicevernic Posts: 797 Officer

    Mutton snapper is now 18"...out yesterday on Seahorse drift boat, friend had a 17 3/4" not kidding it was hard to throw that back... :'(

    2802 Trophy WA, 2x225Merc EFI's...sunk unamed storm 12-09looking for boat #10
  • Salty Dawg44Salty Dawg44 Homosassa, FLPosts: 1,212 Officer
    edited July 2019 #38
    Also note that for several species, Dolphin, Red Snapper,and Gag Grouper come to mind, that there are different size, dates, and catch limits for the Gulf of Mexico. This covers the west and panhandle sections of Florida.


    I may not always agree with what you say,
    but I will always respect your right to be wrong!
  • CoastalCatchCoastalCatch Lighthouse PointPosts: 515 Officer
    edited August 2019 #39
    Fishing regs are such that you gotta be 1/2 lawyer and 1/2 marine biologist.
    ...and that's exactly what I tell them young FWC fellas that wanna look inside my coolers!

    'The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.' ~ George Orwell

  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 1,931 Captain
    Barrell said:

    @snook87 said:
    Just download the fish rules app and it updates all the time and tell you,by your current location, the limits and season.

    x2, The "fish rules" app is the official app for the SAMF

    Glad to see that the "fish rules" app finally took down the photo of an angler posing with a sailfish on the deck of his boat as it was incongruent with the rules stating they shall remain in the water unless harvested. 
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