The Great Marlin Race started two months ago, and as fishing writing Jim Rizzuto reported in his fishing column in West Hawaii Today a week ago, some of the results are in.
In the last week of July, a 200 pound blue marlin had a close encounter of the bad kind, for a marlin, with a participant in the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament. But Masaharu Matsushita did not haul in the marlin. Instead, he attached a pop up satellite tag to the marlin before releasing it.
The satellite tag just popped off the marlin—who has traveled a little more than 1,000 nautical miles—or 1200 land miles.
The 52-year-old Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament has been a leader in fostering scientific research for billfish. This is Year Three for the Great Marlin Race. The satellite tags are programmed to break free from the marlin at a set time. They then upload their data to satellites. Stanford University Professor Randy Kochevar gathers the data, which tells where the animals went and where they ended up. The tags also record ocean temperatures, giving scientists access to data about the open ocean—which otherwise isn’t generally available.
Ten marlins were tagged. Four have reported in. The angler whose marlin travels the furthest will get a free team entry into next year’s Billfish tournament.
More information is online at www.greatmarlinrace.org.