Great Marlin Race
The Great Marlin Race was born when Dr. Block was contacted by the organizers of the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament to help come up with a special tagging program to commemorate the tournament’s 50th anniversary. Angling teams were offered the opportunity to sponsor electronic tags, to be deployed on blue marlin caught and released during the tournament. A total of ten tags were sponsored, seven of which were deployed during the five days of fishing. (Three others were deployed over the weeks following the tournament – and as such are not part of the Race itself.) Each tag was programmed to pop up after 180 days – and the tag surfacing furthest from its point of release would win its sponsors free entry into the 2010 tournament. At the time of this writing, three tags have come off ahead of schedule – one within a few days of deployment, just off the Kona Coast, and two others that came up within a few days of one another, after a journey all the way into the Southern Hemisphere to the vicinity of the Marquesas Islands. These tracks, one of 1,847 nautical miles and the other of 2,225 nautical miles, are among the longest migrations ever recorded for blue marlin! We are anxiously awaiting data from the remaining tags – which are due to come up any day. You can follow along at www.greatmarlinrace.org.