Fishing Notes

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Floridians and New Yorkers win celebrity fish tourney

A marine artist from the Florida Keys won not only the grand champion angler title in the Boomer Esiason Foundation (BEF)-F.C.A. Montauk Slam along with a Rolex watch and Roger Fowler-sculpted trophy, but also saw much of his own donated giclée artwork presented to other division winners.

Tim Borski, Tavernier, Fla., collected 1,900 points in the Redbone @ Large tournament series event, Sept. 19 to 21 off New York’s Long Island, fishing mostly on fly catching four albies (false albacore), seven bluefish and two striped bass. His guide, Capt. Paul Dixon, East Hampton, N.Y., won a Tim Borski Montauk Slam giclée.

The runner-up angler was Art Bokor, who also scored as the top rod angler for both days, was named the spin/plug division champion and recorded the most bluefish and albie releases. He was guided by Capt. Chris Jensen, Hope, N.J.

Bokor, with Joe Keris, both of Robinsville, N.J., were named runner-up team finishing just 150 points behind the grand champion anglers David Collier, New York City, with his father Cal Collier Sr. of Lake Forest, Illinois. The Colliers totaled 2,800 points and were guided by Capt. Brendan McCarthy, New York City. David Collier also won honors as the fly division champion and for most striper releases.

Baseball Hall of Fame member Wade Boggs, Tampa, Fla., a former member of the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Devil Rays, repeated with a win as celebrity grand champion, guided by Capt. Frank Crescitelli, Staten Island, N.Y.

As grand champions, both Borski and Boggs qualified to compete in the International Game Fish Association Inshore World Championship next year in the Florida Keys.

A total of 289 fish were caught and released including 108 bluefish, 21 stripers and 160 albies.

In partnership with the Redbone and the Fishermen’s Conservation Association money from the sixth annual tournament, will be presented by the Redbone to the New York City, N.Y.-based Boomer Esiason Foundation for its scholarship program for students with cystic fibrosis. More than $41,000 alone was raised at the live auction held at the tournament, which attracted 66 anglers and guides.

In addition to Montauk, BEF and the Redbone will be partnering with two other celebrity tournaments which include the Deep Water Cay Bonefish Classic at Grand BahamaIsland in the Bahamas, Nov. 16 to 19, and the Over the Hill Sailfish Tournament at Islamorada, Fla., Jan. 21 and 22.

BEF also has its own fishing competition the Costa Rica Classic Billfish Tournament, with the actual two fishing days on March 28 and 29.

For more information on the Redbone events go to its Web site at www.redbone.org or call (305) 664-2002. For information on the Boomer Esiason Foundation, visit www.esiason.org or call Mike Hill at (212) 525-7777.

$3.5 million awarded for coral reef conservation

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program announced Sept. 28 the funding of 29 grants totaling more than $3.5 million through the jointly managed Coral Reef Conservation Fund (Coral Fund).

The grants will go to conservation organizations and local governments in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea to help prevent further negative impacts to coral reefs by educating local communities and improving management effectiveness.

“Healthy coral reefs provide the United States and thousands of communities around the world with food, jobs, shoreline protection, recreation and income worth billions of dollars each year. However, many reefs are now seriously degraded,” said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher Jr., Ph.D., under secretary of commerce and NOAA administrator. “These grants will help communities from the Caribbean to Micronesia protect and restore valuable coral reefs and the economies that depend on them.”

The grants were awarded to projects in 11 countries, two U.S. territories, and three U.S. freely associated states. The awards include $1.3 million in federal funds leveraged by an additional $2.2 million in matching contributions for a total of $3.5 million in on-the-ground projects.

Campaign launched to protect fish populations

A unique collaboration of fishing, boating, marine manufacturers, and ocean conservancy groups are joining forces with retailers and restaurants to launch a campaign to help protect the world’s declining fish populations.

The participating partners are launching a campaign to help millions of people make seafood selections that are good for the ocean. They’ve pledged to distribute 5 million wallet-size copies of “BlueOcean’s Guide to Ocean Friendly Seafood” to help consumers make informed choices about the seafood they buy and consume — and help reverse the drop in fish populations.

The coalition includes representatives from fishing groups including: American Sportfishing Association, International Game Fish Association, American Albacore Fishing Association, Coastside Fishing Club, United Anglers of Southern California and Coastal Conservation Association. Other partners in the distribution campaign include Blue Ocean Institute, Oceana, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, West Marine, Chefs Collaborative and the Green Restaurant Association.

“The Blue Ocean Guide to Ocean Friendly Seafood” contains color-coded “sustainability” rankings for popular seafood species in part based on the species’ abundance and the way they are caught or farmed. Many fish populations are victims of overfishing, declining to roughly 10 percent of what they once were. Yet, consumer demand for fish continues to grow and is expected to increase almost 40 percent over the next decade, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. In a recent study, scientists determined that by the year 2048 the world would run out of seafood if declines in marine species continue at current rates.

Fish in the guide that are ranked “green” — including U.S.-farmed Tilapia and Alaska Salmon — are considered abundant or are caught or raised in an environmentally responsible manner. Fish with red rankings, such as Atlantic Bluefin Tuna and imported shrimp, are overfished or caught in ways that harm the environment. The guide also contains information on mercury and PCB health risks. www.blueocean.org

New owners for billfish tourney

The Marine Industries Association of South Florida, an 800-member not-for-profit recreational marine trade association established in 1961, is the new owner of the Fort Lauderdale Billfish Tournament.

The family-friendly fishing tournament has been held in Fort Lauderdale since October 1965.

The association acquired the event from The Fort Lauderdale Billfish Tournament, a non-profit organization with the goal of promoting fishing and family recreational boating, and the two organizations will continue to work together to produce the five-day event, scheduled for Feb. 27 to March 2.

MIASF also announced that a seafood and music festival would be included for the first time in the 2008 Fort Lauderdale Billfish Tournament.

For information visit www.miasf.org or contact Gordon Connell at (954) 524-2733, gordon@miasf.org or Mark Constantino at (954) 786-4778.