The Great Marlin Race began in 2009 at the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament (HIBT) with a concept created by IGFA Trustee Bob Kurz, IGFA Trustee Emeritus Peter Fithian and renowned marine scientist Dr. Barbara Block at Stanford University. The idea was simple, have recreational anglers fishing the HIBT sponsor a Pop-up Satellite Archival Tag (PSAT) and deploy it on a billfish, with the longest distance traveled by any tagged fish winning the “race”. The concept of having recreational anglers fund and participate in billfish research through the sponsorship of PSATs provided an opportunity to collect much-needed data on billfish species in Kona, Hawaii while engaging the recreational angling community. Creating a “tournament within a tournament” only encouraged anglers to participate further.
A year later in 2010, IGFA President Rob Kramer and IGFA Chairman Packy Offield traveled to Hawaii for the HIBT and determined the combination of Dr. Block’s scientific prowess and IGFA’s reputation in the recreational fishing realm could significantly expand the program around the world through a partnership. In 2011, the IGFA Great Marlin Race was born and, twelve years later, continues to grow.
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