Help protect and restore the quality of exotic sportfisheries by supporting the - INTERNATIONAL SPORTFISH FUND
A Message to Anglers:
With each passing day in regions outside of North America, the quality of fishing is declining as a result of activities that lie beyond your sphere of influence.
Political boundaries rarely limit angler access to sportfishing opportunities. Yet political boundaries often limit the angler's ability to influence the stewardship of some of the world's most spectacular sportfisheries.
Fisheries scientist from many different countries are working to improve these fisheries. International relationships have been developed among institutions to promote research, education, and management.
These cooperative international efforts require funding. Funding for North American scientists working on international projects is generally unavailable from government sources.
Objective of the International Sportfish Fund
Long-Term Strategy of ISF
Short-Term Needs of ISF
For short term, fisheries research projects have been targeted for three regions, each supporting vigorous international sportfisheries:
Peacock bass are one of the world's most spectacular freshwater gamefishes. In their native habitats, these colorful tropical fishes (actually members of the tropical family Cichlidae and not related to North American bass) can attain weights of over 25 pounds. Even small peacocks can test any angler's strength and stress even the sturdiest freshwater tackle to its limits. Venezuela has supported the world's largest sportfishery for peacock bass for many years. With increased development of tourism infrastructure, the number of international anglers enjoying this unique sportfishing experience has steadily increased. Yet limited fisheries data and recent accounts from experienced anglers indicate the abundance and size of peacocks has declined in recent years. Basic fisheries data for peacock bass are virtually nonexistent.
A fisheries research project on the ecology and current status of peacock bass has been proposed by The University of the Western Llanos in Venezuela and Texas A&M University. This important project will be the first to gather detailed fisheries and ecological data for peacock basses in their native habitats. The Llanos River Foundation of Venezuela has pledged support for this research, and ISF seeks to provide matching funds that will enable researchers from Texas A&M to play a large role in data acquisition, analysis, and assessments. Anglers will be encouraged to participate in this research effort.
Famous for their strength, endurance, and spectacular leaps, snook and tarpon are without a doubt the premier gamefishes of tropical coastal waters. The two fishes provide the foundation for a thriving international sportfishery along Costa Rica's Caribbean shore. The high natural densities of snook and tarpon in Costa Rica even attract the attention of hundreds of Florida anglers each year. World records for snook have been recorded from Costa Rica's eastern shore for many years, and new world records are now coming from Costa Rica's Pacific coast as well. Unfortunately, biologists know little about the complex life histories, habitat requirements, and ecological interactions of these important fishes. Moving frequently through inlets between coastal freshwater and marine habitats, snook are extremely vulnerable to the gillnets of commercial fishermen. Unlike the thriving Costa Rican populations, Mexican and Nicaraguan snook populations today are only a sad remnant of what they were only three decades ago.
Researchers at Texas A&M University and the University of Texas have proposed research that investigates reproduction, population structure, movements and seasonal dynamics of snook populations along Costa Rica's Caribbean coast. This research also will involve the National University of Costa Rica and the Costa Rican National Park Service. Local fishing lodges and anglers will be encouraged to participate in the field aspects of this research.
Marlin and sailfish are the undisputed kings of sport fishing in offshore waters. These magnificant and valuable fishes have uncertain futures, however. The world's billfish populations continue to be threatened by increasing commercial fishing pressure and management policies guided more by international politics than by conservation practices. Previous work on the social and economic benefits associated with this recreational fishery in the U.S. was undertaken in support of the decision to prevent directed and by-catch impacts by commercial fisheries in U.S. waters. This work was funded by the Billfish Foundation in Miami, Florida. Now, the research team seeks to expand this research to other regions in support of additional management and research efforts.
Administration of ISF
You Can Help Make International Sportfish Fund a Force in Resource Protection and Restoration
International Sportfish Fund, Dept. of Wildlife & Fisheries Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-2258 Telephone (409) 8624020 Fax (409) 845-3786
Members of the Task Force for International Sportfish Fund: